The Pitfalls To Home Based Self Employment
The Basic Home Self Employment Hazards Most people love the idea of working at home for themselves. Being your own boss has its advantages as well as its shortcomings. Scheduling your own time can be very rewarding or financially disastrous depending on your personality. Working at home can create a freedom like no other and again, your personality will determine whether or not you can handle such liberation. Not everyone can. When I first started my own business working from home our space was limited and I needed a quiet place to get things done.
This meant that my home office was literally right next to the bed. I could sit up in bed and take one step into my office chair and I was at work. This had advantages, but I was working ridiculously long hours to get my business off the ground. The bed had a habit of calling to me about three weeks into my program. Despite my determination it called to me as soon as my energy started to dwindle and the yawning began.
Some mornings I was up at two o’clock to get a jump on the day. By ten o’clock in the morning the bed began demanding I come back to it. I was at the very least able to restrict myself to one half an hour power nap per day. I was not interested in sleeping away my home based business, but my fatigue combined with my proximity to the bed took a significant amount of discipline to keep myself on my own predetermined schedule. Aside from my overwhelming desire to crawl back into bed, especially on rainy, cold mornings, tax time was a chronic headache. I struggled to determine the laws and the benefits and finding the right accountant to help me figure out how to maximize my taxes and save me the bulk of my income. I fell farther behind in my projects at tax time than I did even over Christmas vacation. Tax time can be very stressful for work at home people. Tax time comes with changes in laws, discrepancies, and headaches. Tax time requires the help of a professional, even if you have been your own tax guru in the past.
For the work at home individual, tax time has now taken on whole new dimension. Locating a Tax Professional at Tax Time Not all tax professionals are capable of assisting with work at home tax issues as effectively as others. Don’t assume just because someone completed and H&R Block tax session doesn’t mean they can make sense of the plethora of tax complications for home office workers and those who are self employed. Not everyone who works at home is self employed. Not everyone who is self employed works at home. These are two separate tax issues and they need to be clearly understood when maximizing your end of year reporting. Ask a lot of questions when determining if your tax professional is capable of handling your work at home taxes. Work at home tax information can be looked up on the internet so you can at least have a basic guideline if he seems knowledgeable enough to handle your taxes. If you are receiving conflicting work at home tax advice, research a little more. Remember just because you read it on the internet doesn’t make it true.
And just because your tax advisor tells you something you want to hear doesn’t make it true. It is your job to do enough research to be able to know if your tax advisor is capable of handling your work at home tax issues. Work at Home Overload Starting a work at home career can be ultimately taxing and a person can quickly find themselves on work at home overload within a fairly short period of time. It’s not uncommon for an individual to feel so afraid of failing that they take on more than they can reasonably handle. I fell victim to this work at home syndrome and I accepted every project that crossed my desk. Within a very short time I had so much work to do that there was no sign of ever catching up and I knew early on that I was experiencing work at home overload. I knew that regardless of my own error I had to complete the projects I had accepted, but I was naturally concerned about early burnout. Nobody wants to experience burn out, and being on work at home overload is one of the fastest ways to get there. I had created the situation myself and I knew that I had no choice but to complete every project I had accepted. But I was unwilling to sacrifice my family in order to do so.
The whole point of working at home was to be able to spend more quality time with them. I set limitations for myself and a few rules that were in fact unbreakable. A sit down dinner with my family was not negotiable. No matter how busy I was or how behind I was, there was a mandatory break for the cooking and eating of an evening meal. This gave me a chance to check in with them and relate to them and express my love for them, and it also gave me a refreshing, much needed break from my mountain of work waiting for me in my office. Two nights a week my office was closed at seven o’clock. This gave me the quality of life I was still seeking while trying to catch up and refreshed me for the next day. Those were the days I was in bed earlier rather than later, but I went to bed with the notion that my family received adequate attention from me. I made weekend work optional.
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