When it comes to providing financial solutions for small business owners, Intuit has been at the forefront. QuickBooks Desktop has been around since the 1990s, and QuickBooks Online just surpassed 1 million subscribers in 2015.
While these products have been very successful, they never quite provided a solution for the more than 50 million Americans who are self-employed solo entrepreneurs. Examples include freelancers, realtors, Uber drivers, and independent consultants. QuickBooks Self-Employed is the latest product from Intuit specifically designed for self-employed workers
By the end of this article, you will know the following:
- What is QuickBooks Self-Employed, and What Can It Do?
- Who is it Right For?
- Who is it Not Right For?
- How Does QuickBooks Self-Employed Differ from QuickBooks Online?
- How Much Does QuickBooks Self-Employed Cost?
- How Do You Get Started?
What is QuickBooks Self-Employed?
QuickBooks Self-Employed is a software product designed for individuals who are self-employed and required to file a Schedule C with their personal tax returns each year. Similar to QuickBooks Online, there is no software to install with QuickBooks Self-Employed. You just need an internet connection and a secure user id and password to use it.
What You Can Do With QuickBooks Self-Employed:
- Connect your bank accounts – Similar to QuickBooks Online, you can download your banking transactions directly into your QuickBooks Self-Employed account so that they can be categorized to complete the Schedule C.
- Connect your credit card accounts – Similar to bank accounts, you can download your credit card transactions directly into your QuickBooks Self-Employed account so that they can be categorized based on the Schedule C filing requirements.
- Separate personal expenses from business expenses – This is done by setting up a category for personal expenses during the bank account setup. Any expense that comes out of your bank account and is not related to your business should be categorized as personal expense so that it is not included as a tax deduction. For example, if your rent check is downloaded from your bank into your QuickBooks Self-Employed account and you do not work from home or claim the home office deduction, this would be considered a personal expense and should be categorized that way.
- Automatically track your mileage – If you drive for business reasons, you can deduct the cost of mileage or actual vehicle expenses. QuickBooks Self-Employed has a mileage tracker app that you can download on your Android or IOS phone, and it will automatically track your start and stop locations for all of your trips.
- Create an invoice for a customer – If you need to provide a customer with an invoice before you can get paid, you can create a simple invoice in QuickBooks Self-Employed.
- Attach a receipt to a transaction – The QuickBooks Self-Employed mobile app (for iPhone and Android) will allow you to take a picture of a receipt & attach it to a transaction directly from your mobile phone.
- Create tax payment due date reminders – Based on the tax profile that you complete during setup, QuickBooks Self-Employed will project your annual profit and provide you with estimated tax payment recommendations and set up alerts for all tax due dates.
- Transfer all information to Schedule C in TurboTax – With the purchase of a TurboTax Bundle, you get QuickBooks Self-Employed combined with TurboTax Home & Business. This makes it easy to transfer all of your Schedule C info into TurboTax to complete your tax return.
- File both federal and state taxes – With purchase of the TurboTax Bundle, QuickBooks Self-Employed includes both a federal and state tax return filing (the product does not currently handle state quarterly estimates or tax payments however).
- Run financial reports quickly – There are three reports you can easily download and email to your accountant for tax filing:
-Profit and Loss
- Access real time data – On the homepage of QuickBooks Self-Employed, there is a dashboard where you can easily see the most up-to-date info on:
-Account balances (bank and credit card)
- Compatible with Android and IOS – If you find yourself constantly on the go and rarely in front of a computer, you can easily access your data directly from your mobile device
Who is QuickBooks Self-Employed Right For?
In general, QuickBooks Self-Employed will work for an individual or business that meets the following criteria:
- Files a Schedule C with Form 1040
- Pays majority of expenses using a debit card, credit card, or cash (minimal paper checks)
- Writes no more than 5 checks per month
- Invoices no more than 10 customers per month
- Does not have any employees (QuickBooks Self-Employed does not have payroll functionality)
- Does not employ any contractors
NOTE: If you do employ contractors and they are paid $600 or more in a calendar year then you will need to complete 1099 reporting. QuickBooks Self-Employed does not support this function.
QuickBooks Self-Employed was designed for self-employed people like Oscar, a Handyman and Tasker, Marian, a Freelance Filmmaker & Writer, Robin, a Real Estate Agent, and Bryan, an on-demand driver for Uber. Click here to hear each of their stories.
Who is QuickBooks Self-Employed Not Right For?
In general, QuickBooks Self-Employed will not work for an individual or business that needs to do one or more of the following:
- Files taxes as a Partnership, S-Corp, C-Corporation, or NonProfit
- Writes more than 10 checks per month
- Invoices more than 10 customers per month
- Needs to manage accounts payable
- Needs to pay employees
- Employs contractors and needs to issue 1099 forms
QuickBooks Self-Employed was not designed for a business that is not a sole proprietor and/or performs one or more of the following tasks in their day to day business operations:
- Buys and sells products, like a retail store
- Manages heavy accounts payable
- Has employees that work for you
- Hires contractors who are paid at least $600 or more within the fiscal year
How does QuickBooks Self-Employed Differ from QuickBooks Online?
QuickBooks Self-Employed is a relatively new product. While it does not have all of the features that QuickBooks Online has there are a few key differences that set it apart:
Multi-user access – you are only allowed one user per QuickBooks Self-Employed account. If you want to provide your accountant with information to file your tax return, you will have to do one of two things:
- Give your accountant the user id and password for your QuickBooks Self-Employed account
- Run the 3 financial reports discussed in the What Does QuickBooks Self-Employed Do Section and send them over to your accountant
Automatically track mileage using app – As discussed above, QuickBooks Self-Employed will automatically track your mileage. QuickBooks Online does not currently offer this option.
Import data from another QuickBooks program – QuickBooks Self-Employed does not allow you to import data from another QuickBooks program like QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online. However, you can import data from a CSV file or Mint Budgeting. QuickBooks Online does allow you to import data from other QuickBooks programs.
Automatically create tax due date reminders – As discussed above, based on the tax profile that you complete during setup, QuickBooks Self-Employed will project your annual profit and provide you with estimated tax payment recommendations and set up alerts for all tax due dates. QuickBooks Online does not currently offer this option.
Separate personal expenses from business expenses – As discussed above, QuickBooks Self-Employed will allow you to quickly separate business and personal expenses. QuickBooks Online does not currently offer this option.
How Much Does QuickBooks Self-Employed Cost?
QuickBooks Self-Employed offers the following two pricing options.
|QuickBooks Self-Employed||QuickBooks Self-Employed TurboTax Bundle|
The TurboTax Bundle includes the following features that are not offered in the standalone Self-Employed version:
- Export schedule C data to TurboTax
- One federal and one state tax return filing are included
How Do I Get Started With QuickBooks Self-Employed?
- Set up your QuickBooks Self-Employed account using your own data
- Access all of the features available
- After 30 days, you can subscribe by simply providing your billing information
- If you decide not to subscribe, you will have read-only access to your data for 90 days
If you don’t need a trial version because you are ready to get started, just click here.