Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0
How about a suggestion for a more concise explanation of the Safe Harbors in fewer words.

See below. By the way, "more concise" and "fewer words" is repetitive.

That's why we give specific information when we know it and in this case the popular tax programs won't do what she needs.

Yes, they will. You just have to use them properly. If you use them in consecutive years, they automatically read the old data and fill in many of the Safe Harbor numbers, too.

Most of your information doesn't apply to her in any way.

Au contraire. "My information" is just my attempt to help her, not browbeat somebody, and certainly not motivated by a desire to promote myself as the most expert person on the block in hopes of selling software.

And the main point I made was that she had self-employment income and that every dollar was deductible. Her original question exhibited confusion over the need to meet a threshold before being able to deduct any expenses. So, not only did my answer apply to her; it went to the crux of her question!

As I said earlier, in different words, the IRS allows a person some slack as long as he/she is making a good faith effort to do the right thing. Hence the word "estimate." And if you come within a reasonable distance of the correct number, based on information that they can reasonably expect you to know, they won't hit you with a penalty.

That's the Plain English explanation of "Safe Harbor," which you have obfuscated by turning it into a sea of numbers. Those are appropriate when sitting down to do the return -- but not when trying to explain the fundamental principle to a novice. I don't have to tell her that the Safe Harbor could be based on the previous year's tax, or any of the particulars or percentages. That's not what she was asking about.

before that she needs info on Schedule C, SE and 2210 in general. ed

RAD had a problem with the terminology. That was obvious. You did not solve that problem. So I gave it a shot, and in return, got withering disdain from you. But you never explained to RAD that it's a mistake to refer to "1099" as if it were a synonym for "self-employment income." It is NOT. The semantics really do matter.

One could have a bunch of small jobs from different entities, and if each is under the threshold limit of $600, those entities might very well not issue 1099 forms. In other cases, payers may screw up and issue 1099s late, or not at all.

So, RAD would be well advised to make sure that she document her non-wage income by some other method, just in case, rather than counting on 1099 forms to do that for her. And if she's worried about making an estimated payment now for current year income, the 1099 due next January is really irrelevant. These are all reasons why I felt it was important for her to understand the 1099's function, an explanation which you have belittled for no good reason.
Print the post  


In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use the contents of any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.