In many ways, April is the greatest month of the year. Crocuses bloom, robins chirp, and the crack of horsehide against hickory in big league baseball parks can be heard throughout the land.
Uncle Sam loves April, too-but not for the same reasons the rest of us do. That's because April is the time when the government comes knocking at your door, tax bill in hand.
For the 9 million or so U.S. homebased entrepreneurs, April can be a stressful month. But with good planning and current information, it doesn't have to be.
First, the bad news. Because you're in business for yourself, you'll be paying the employer's contribution to Social Security as well as your own. So, instead of paying a 7½ percent Social Security tax, try 15 percent.
In addition, you not only have to pay extra taxes, such as the full FICA tax (instead of half), but you're also highly scrutinized by the IRS. Whereas the average individual filer has about a 1 percent chance of being audited, small-business owners and self-employed workers have about a 4 percent chance of being singled out by Uncle Sam.