As a maintenance worker, you may either be classified as an employee of a company or you may be considered self-employed. If you are an employee, your employer will provide you with a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Self-employed maintenance workers can expect a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income from those whom they’re contracted with. Self-employment income is any amount received for maintenance services outside of your basic employer, and will need to be documented on a Schedule C, Profit and Loss from Business.
Any self-employed maintenance worker who earns over $400 in net profit will need to pay self-employment tax. You may also have to make estimated tax payments throughout the year to cover the amount you reported on your Schedule C.
Though paying your taxes may clean out your wallet, there are a few ways to maintain your tax liability y and ensure you are getting the most out of your deductions. You are able to deduct work-related expenses that are not reimbursed. Employees will deduct expenses on a Schedule A, Itemized Deductions as a miscellaneous deduction, whereas self-employed workers will deduct expenses on a Schedule C, Profit and Loss from Business. If you have incurred expenses from any of the following, you should keep receipts to back up your deduction:
- Subscription fees for journals and publications related to your field
- Union dues
- Liability and wrongful acts insurance premiums
- Tools and special equipment that is replaceable within the year
- Certain safety equipment, like steel toed boots
- Upkeep of uniforms, as long as they’re required and not suitable for everyday wear on the street
- Regulatory fees, licensing fees, or flat rate occupational taxes, as long as it’s not assessed for the initial licensing.
If you experience a bout of temporary unemployment, you may be able to deduct certain job-hunting expenses, as long as the job you are searching for is in the same line of work as your previous job. This doesn’t mean that you can’t hold odd jobs during your unemployment to help make ends meet. Those odd jobs don’t affect your ability to deduct related expenses.
If you take education classes related to your employment, you may be able to deduct any expenses you incurred. However, the classes cannot qualify you for a new occupation, or they cannot be the minimum required to certify you for your current position. For example, a maintenance worker cannot deduct classes required to get his first license, or classes that he takes to become an engineer.
If you are self-employed, you may be entitled to additional deductions if you file a Schedule C. These deductions include:
- Business bad debts
- Vehicle expenses for traveling from site to site
- Bonuses, salaries, and compensation paid to employees
- Legal and professional fees, such as the services of an attorney or accountant
- Excise and personal property taxes
- Tool and equipment repairs
- Supplies and incidentals
- Rental expenses for leased property used by the business
- Travel expenses, subject to traditional regulations, for work away from your typical business home that lasts longer than a day, including tolls, parking fees, lodging costs, and limited meals.