Ask DN: At what point should I worry about taxes?

7 years ago from , Computer Science Student

I'm a college student who's gotten their first client. I've got a contract in place, and everything's going swimmingly. Like the title said, at what point should I start to worry about taxable income?


  • Ryan Hicks, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    Not to sound snobby, but have you never worked a day in your life? You should always be worried about taxes.

    2 points
    • David Barsky, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

      I've never done paid work — only unpaid internships in science laboratories. Hence this question.

      EDIT: I responded before I saw your edit. A better phrasing of the question would've been how I should handle taxes as a first-time freelancer.

      0 points
      • Ryan Hicks, 7 years ago

        Fair enough. I didn't want to insult you with the comment. It's unfortunate you've only had unpaid internships. They are so evil, but at least you have experience. That's the important part.

        0 points
        • , 7 years ago

          No worries, you didn't insult me! The internship got me into university, and it was a great learning experience — turns out, I don't like biology! I'd much rather do CS and design.

          1 point
  • Stef LewandowskiStef Lewandowski, 7 years ago

    A very simple rule that I learned when making the step from freelancer to running an agency, was this:

    Every time you receive some money from a client, put a percentage (10%?) into a savings account and don't touch it until tax day.

    Don't be tempted to fund growth by borrowing from future tax liabilities. It'll bite you. Sure, when you're bigger and you have cashflow there comes complexity, but early on, just make sure you have enough cash in a savings account to cover what will be due.

    1 point
    • Eliot SlevinEliot Slevin, 7 years ago

      Yeah that's a classic way for a business/person to go bankrupt, touching the tax money. Don't do it.

      0 points
    • Derryl CarterDerryl Carter, 7 years ago

      25% is safer. Although if your income is less than 10-20 grand, then you'll likely pay around 10%

      0 points
  • David Barsky, 7 years ago

    Because I can't edit the original post: I meant to ask what was proper way to handle taxes, as a first time freelancer in the US.

    0 points
  • Andrew LucasAndrew Lucas, 7 years ago

    In the UK it's around £8,000

    0 points