Q: I’m a college student who worked as an independent contractor for 9 months and didn’t have taxes taken out of my pay. Is there any way to lower the tax bill I will owe?
A: You are correct in expecting to pay taxes to Uncle Sam, since income taxes were not taken out of your paycheck and you apparently did not make any pre-payments or contributions for estimated quarterly taxes.
At this point, the best way for you to lower your tax bill is to leverage your status as both an independent contractor and a student and try to take advantage of as many tax deductions as possible.
Take Advantage of Tax Benefits for Small Business Owners
You did not say what your line of work was, but as an independent contractor (and not an employee), it is very possible that you may qualify for a host of tax deductions granted to entrepreneurs.
For example, small business owners can write off many ordinary business expenses, including:
• marketing costs
• advertising fees
• office supplies
• hardware and software (subject to certain limits)
• professional expenses
• union dues
• shipping and mailing costs
• work-related travel
• phone expenses … and more
Additionally, as a student there may be deductions you can take on your income taxes to minimize your overall tax bill. One such deduction is the interest you may have paid on student loans.
Visit the website of the IRS (http://www.IRS.gov) or talk to a tax professional for more information about possible deductions.