Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Business Taxes and Your Side Job: 3 Things to Know

Written by Eva Rosenberg on February 20, 2015 in Tax  |   No comments

A recent issue of Quill, the Society of Professional Journalists’ national magazine, featured articles that explained the benefits of taking on side projects—something many people consider doing in order to make some extra cash. In addition to having fun, the journalists who wrote the pieces…

Filing Business Taxes for Your Side JobA recent issue of Quill, the Society of Professional Journalists’ national magazine, featured articles that explained the benefits of taking on side projects—something many people consider doing in order to make some extra cash. In addition to having fun, the journalists who wrote the pieces honed their skills, made some extra money, and increased their professional prestige.

Despite some successes, however, many of the writers pointed out that income is not necessarily the main reason to take on side projects. Instead, it’s the freedom and self-fulfillment that make these projects worth it.

If you’re planning to start your own side project, it’s important to consider the tax implications when it comes to the money you may be making. Here are three things to keep in mind when considering taking on a side business project:

1. Plan, plan, plan. Before beginning your side project, decide if you want to make it into a profitable business and then create a business plan that will help you do so. Doing so may enable you to overcome the 3/5 limitation listed in the Internal Revenue Code Sec 183, which states that businesses must show a profit for three of the last five years, with one of those being the current year, or the IRS will call it a hobby. Hobbies are treated differently than businesses when it comes to filing taxes.

2. Real businesses keep books and records. Pick out your favorite accounting system and start using it; it will make things a lot easier when it comes time to file taxes for your business. These days, it’s easy to track income and expenses. Most software will import your bank statements and payment data, allow you to scan checks and receipts directly from your smartphone, and even enable you to use your phone to make deposits. Apps also exist to track mileage and appointments, which you can then feed into your accounting system. These records will be helpful if you get audited.

Some people think that if you do not have records, you can assert the Cohan Rule, which allows you to argue that your business or industry has certain routine expenses, so it can be assumed that you spent money on those things. These days, the Cohan Rule only works if you have lost records and have made a good-faith effort to reconstruct them. It doesn’t work if you never bothered to keep records at all.

3. Hobbies vs. businesses. Hobby income and expenses are reported differently than business activities when filing taxes. If your side project is considered a hobby rather than a business, you may report your income on the Other Income line on your tax return (Line 21). This income is not subject to self-employment taxes, and the expenses can be itemized as miscellaneous deductions.

Not only must you itemize to deduct these expenses but also you have other limitations to consider:

  • You may only deduct expenses up to the amount of the hobby income, regardless of how much money you spend.
  • You must reduce these miscellaneous deductions by 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. For example, if you make $50,000 per year, you would not be able to deduct the first $1,000 of expenses.
  • If your regular income is high in 2014—$254,200 or more if you’re single, $305,050 if you’re married filing jointly—your itemized deductions might be phased out entirely.

Whether you’re starting a money-making side project that is a business or a hobby, it’s important to understand the tax implications. Doing so will help you protect yourself—and your side project.

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com ®, where your tax questions are answered. She is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches terrific courses that might help individuals and small businesses at CPE Link.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Tax Archive