So, what’s the scoop on Internet marketing and paying taxes in the USA? If you are one of those people looking to make money from home either part time or full time, you need to know that the more successful you become, the more likely it is that you will owe estimated taxes. And those taxes will have to be paid quarterly by you sending in a check to the IRS. No withholding options are available here.
You can go to the IRS website for the complete rundown on this but two things have to happen for you to owe estimated taxes on the money you make online. First is that you have to owe at least $1000 in total taxes.(this was for 2009) If you don’t owe more than a $1,000 in taxes then you don’t have to worry about anything.
Second, all your withholdings have to equal at least 90% of what you will owe to the IRS at the end of the year. In other words, if you are going to owe $50,000 in taxes, then your withholdings from your real job better be at least $45,000 or more for you to NOT owe estimated quarterly taxes.
You see, in your “real” job, your employer has to take taxes out of your paycheck and send it in. That makes the IRS happy because they are always getting your money the minute you earn it. But for things like interest income, dividend income, gambling income, and any other side income you might have, there is usually no withholding. Therefore it is up to you to send in the money yourself and you have to do it quarterly as you owe it. The IRS is “nice” enough to give you that 10% leeway to make it a bit easier for many people.
Making money online is no different than any other kind of side income or second income you might have. YOU DO OWE TAXES ON IT but only if you make enough to satisfy both those rules. Many people who dabble in affiliate marketing online or any other method of making money, do it as a hobby and hold jobs in the real world. But once you start to become successful, the money you make online may very well be enough that you have to start paying quarterly estimated tax payments.
All the United States affiliate networks like MarketLeverage, Commission Junction, and ClickBank require your Social Security number because they have to send in a 1099 to the IRS at the end of the year. That means the IRS knows what you are making and if you try to not pay your taxes they will come after you. It also means that they will know when you are late with your payments and they will know if you are not making any quarterly payments at all. Then you will start to get those lovely IRS penalties that add up faster than the money you owed them in the first place.
Working online and making making money from home through affiliate marketing or blogging can be fun and in some cases lucrative. But it is a little less fun when you realize that if you are successful, you will probably owe tax on that money and there is no way out of it. In fact anything having to do with the IRS or the government is always less fun.