QuickBooks Self-Employed is a software product designed for individuals who are self-employed and required to file a Schedule C, such as freelancers, realtors, Uber drivers, and independent consultants. 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.
This guide covers everything you need to know to determine if QuickBooks Self-Employed is the right edition of QuickBooks for you.
QuickBooks Self-Employed vs. Quickbooks Online Comparison Chart
|Feature||QuickBooks Self-Employed TurboTax Bundle||QuickBooks Online Plus|
|Create customer invoices||✔||✔|
|Import data from another QuickBooks program||✔|
|Automatically create tax due date reminders||✔|
|Separate personal expenses from business expenses.||✔|
|Transfer data to TurboTax to file Federal/State tax returns||✔|
|Track Sales & Sales Tax||✔|
|Pay 1099 contractors||✔|
Note: The above table compares our recommended editions of QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax Bundle and QuickBooks Online Plus. Check out QuickBooks Online Comparison to learn more about the Simple Start and Essentials editions of QuickBooks Online. Later on in this article, we will discuss the basic edition of QuickBooks Self Employed.
When to Choose Quickbooks Self-Employed
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.
When to Choose Quickbooks Online
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
If you need to perform one or more of the above tasks in your business, then QuickBooks Online is going to be your best bet. When you’re ready to set up your business, head over to our free QuickBooks Course. It includes step by step instructions and video tutorials to help you set up and run your business using QuickBooks Online!
What You Can Do With QuickBooks Self-Employed
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. Below is a screenshot of what this looks like:
Connect Your Bank & Credit Card Accounts
Similar to QuickBooks Online, you can download your bank/credit card transactions directly into your QuickBooks Self-Employed account so that they can be categorized to complete the Schedule C.
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.
Attach A Receipt To A Transaction
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 & State Taxes
With the purchase of 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
- Tax Summary
- Tax Detail
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:
- Business Profit
- Business Spending
- Bank/Credit Card account balances
QuickBooks Self-Employed – Cost & Pricing Options
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:
Bottom Line: Get Started With QuickBooks Self-Employed
If you are still unsure about whether or not QuickBooks Self-Employed is right for you, just sign up for a 30 day risk free trial. With the free trial version, you can:
- 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.