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Old March 22nd, 2010, 10:38 PM   #1
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Organizing Invoices/Taxes for Indie Contractor?

I'm about to leave the 9-5 and become my own contractor. Mostly for copy-editing, but there's some video stuff in there. What software (either client side or in the cloud) would you recommend for:

1) Keeping Business Contacts
2) Making and sending invoices
3) Keeping track of a budget (or Income - Outgo)
and the big one:
4) Taxes.

That last one might be a bit tricky, as I'm likely to have money coming in from multiple countries, and multiple denominations, and I'm likely to be *living* in multiple countries (I'm going to be trying the technomad lifestyle.)

But I'm a U.S. citizen, so I know I have to *at least* pay taxes there. I basically have to keep track of which country the money is coming from and which country I actually earned the money in, etc. That'll be "fun"... but worth it.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:43 AM   #2
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That sounds awesome! Good luck man.

I think Quickbooks does all that you are looking for, except I don't think it does taxes. To be honest though, you're probably want to look into getting a CPA your first year around. Sounds pretty complex what you got going on, and you'll be better off having someone walk you thru it for a few years. It'll pay for itself.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:02 AM   #3
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Definitely check with a CPA, but I believe that a US citizen working outside of the US is not required to pay taxes on earnings up to ~$75K.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 08:43 AM   #4
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Quickbooks should do everything you need except taxes however it is my understanding that QB will integrate the information to Turbo Tax, but I don't use Turbotax so I can't really say for sure.
You should definately check with an account who is versed on money made outside the USA to make sure of all the tax implications.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:16 PM   #5
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Turbo Tax and Quickbooks do in fact work together to pull your business information into your taxes. However you do have to set up Quickbooks correctly to begin with. I have the very fortunate advantage of having a father who is an accountant and a financial consultant for service companies. He is the one who helped me set up everything in the beginning. All I do is input all the appropriate data into Quickbooks and then at the end of the year I use Turbo Tax to prepare my return. Then I send my father my QB file and Turbo Tax file and he and his CPA go over it to make sure everything is ok.

There is a lot more than just keeping books though. I would recommend advising with a business consultant as well as a CPA and if you are doing international business it probably wouldn't hurt to at least pay for an hour or two of consultation with an international tax attorney. My brother was an internal auditor for Levi's and there are a lot of strange laws regarding income made overseas.

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