Every Question I Plan to Ask My CPA Tomorrow

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash.

Do I need a business license to be a freelance writer in Iowa? If so, how do I transfer my Washington State business license to Iowa?

Do I need a separate business license/registration to be a freelance writer in Cedar Rapids?

How much should I be setting aside for taxes? What are the federal, state, and self-employed brackets for 2018? Will I also need to pay city tax?

Do we need to have another conversation about how much I should be setting aside for taxes in February, after the details of the new tax plan become clearer?

I am a self-published author and my sales are handled by third parties (Amazon, Barnes & Noble) that also collect tax on those sales. I receive what is left over after they take their cut, which is distributed to me as royalties. However, when I lived in Washington I was told to report those royalties as “direct sales.” How should I report those royalties in Iowa?

HSA and traditional IRA contributions are pretax but not pre-self-employment tax, right? I should expect to pay self-employment tax on my gross income but I can deduct HSA and traditional IRA contributions before calculating income tax on my net income?

I want to roll over my 403(b) into a traditional IRA. What are the tax considerations?

In Iowa, are IRA funds protected from creditors? I read that one of the big reasons to keep your 403(b) funds active was that the funds were protected in case of debt/lawsuit/etc., but I also read that some states protect IRA funds as well.

What about the SEP IRA? I feel a bit foolish because I don’t understand exactly how it works. Can I open one? Do I need to be an LLC first, or can I open it as a sole proprietor? Can I make a $5,500 contribution to a traditional IRA and contribute up to 20 percent of my income to a SEP IRA? (Is that 20 percent from the gross, or the net?) What kind of tax deductions do I get from SEP IRA contributions? Just income tax deductions, or do I also get self-employment tax deductions?

Does my plan to make enough retirement contributions and spend enough on my business to keep my AGI eligible for the health insurance subsidy make sense?

Should I become a LLC this year? Are there tax advantages, thanks to the new tax plan?

I’m opening a personal investment account this year. I plan to make small weekly contributions to a low-cost index fund. What tax considerations do I need to be aware of? What happens if I withdraw money from that account?

I moved to Iowa on November 30. I’ll need to pay Iowa income taxes for one month of 2017, right?

What are your tax preparation rates?

What kind of records do you like to see when it’s time to put my 2017 taxes together? I keep everything on Mint and can give you an itemized list of business expenses along with my income, estimated tax payments, etc.


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