I started taking care of my grandparents last month. Any idea how to file my taxes?


I started taking care of my grandparents last month and I get a check weekly from my uncle who is the power of attorney. And I have no idea how to file my taxes. Am I considered self-employed? I heard that it is best to file my taxes quarterly if I am self-employed, is this true? What information should I keep on file, and what tax paperwork do I need? I'm so lost!

Thank you for your help.

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You need to get with an Elder Care Attorney and write a "cargiver aGreement" up so you can "pay" yourself - for tax purposes... no money needs to be exchanged. It is a document that puts a dollar value on the time you spend as a cargiver - like $2000/month.... or what ever. this is also important is you are going to apply for VA benefits or qualify them for state funding, should the need arise! the Elder care attorney should be able to recommend a good family accountant.
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If you filled out the withholding tax forms, uncle will send you a W-2. If you simply get a check, uncle will send you a 1099 at the end of the year and you will list the income under "miscellaneous income" on your 1040. Best you sit down with a tax preparer NOW and discuss how this is done.
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pstepha, if the POA is not deducting SS and paying an employer's share, then you should consider yourself self employed. Keep up with the payments being made to you. You need to get a form so that you can estimate and submit your quarterly federal, self employment, and taxes if you are making above a certain amount. Here are some instructions for federal estimated tax: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf.

It is best to ask your uncle first how he intends to handle the paperwork. That should help to clear any confusion about what to do.

I was an independent contractor at one time. I didn't receive a 1099 when I worked, so I was totally responsible for all my own records. I submitted the estimated taxes quarterly, since my tax was more than $500 a quarter. If you follow the instructions on the ES form, it should be pretty simple.

You'll also need to look into estimated taxes for your state to make sure you won't get behind there and be penalized. Sometimes the tax amount is so low that you can pay at the end of the year, but it's risky to assume it is so.
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