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Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts

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Grant Wilber
Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 21, 2011 at 1:02:33 am

I've been freelancing this year as a videographer and haven't dealt with any state stuff so far. I'm starting to get a lot more work now though and I just had a company as for my 'Tax ID' to pay me.

I've been online for the couple hours going through google and forums and my head is spinning.

I started to register my business with the state, but is that the same thing as a Tax ID? I've seen so far that there are no taxes if you are providing services (I mostly do just internet videos for people), but this is more on my end rather than theirs right?

Any advice or direction would be great. Thanks.




Side note: Anyone know what business code I'm supposed to pick?
541920 Photographic Services
541990 All Other Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services
711510 Independent Artists, Writers, & Performers
711100 Performing Arts Companies


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Joel Servetz
Re: Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 21, 2011 at 1:41:09 am

No, your tax ID is your IRS tax ID. If you don't have one you'll need to apply for one. If you used a service to incorporate or otherwise register your business they normally would've taken care of that for you. If not then ask your accountant or go to the IRS website to apply for one. I used Florida Incorporation Services here in Florida to establish my LLC and they took care of everything State and Federal for me. I'm sure there's a similar online service that can take care of your needs in Mass.

Joel Servetz
RGB Media Services, LLC
Sarasota, Fl
videobyjoel@aol.com
http://www.rgbmediaservices.com


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Grant Wilber
Re: Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 21, 2011 at 3:07:08 am

Alright thanks.

Now would my Soc Security Number happen to be my federal id as I am sole proprietor of my business? Thought I read that somewhere.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 21, 2011 at 6:29:32 pm

Egads, if you are still operating as a sole proprietor, seriously consider setting up an LLC or S-corp instead. As a sole proprietor, you expose all of your personal assets to liability - a limited liability company or corporation literally limits your asset exposure to only business assets (like your camera, computer, etc) and not personal assets (like your house, car, 401k, paper assets, etc).

If you are going to pursue this, talk to an accountant, an attorney, and the state for what you need to do to set it all up. It can cost upwards of $1500 to set it all up, but once done, you will have serious protection. Once its done, set up your federal tax ID (it takes 30 seconds online). Until then, I think you would use your SSN, but that's not a good idea. Talk to an attorney to be certain.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Mark Landman
Re: Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 21, 2011 at 1:27:42 pm

How do you file your taxes? If you list your business income on a Schedule C with your personal tax return then your tax ID is your Social Security number. If you file a corporate tax return for your business that is separate from your personal tax return then you'd have a tax ID for the business.

Standard disclaimer: I'm not an lawyer or a CPA and the above should not be considered legal advice. Check with your attorney or accountant.

Mark Landman
PM Productions
Champaign, IL


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Craig Seeman
Re: Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 21, 2011 at 2:12:51 pm

Not necessarily. Sole Proprietorship here and have a tax ID. You don't need to be Incorporated to get one. Personally I wouldn't want to give out my Social Security Number.



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Todd Terry
Re: Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:45:38 pm

My unspecific advice is get a CPA, if you don't have one... and a good one... and preferably one familiar with the type of business you do.

You don't have to spend a pile of money, some are very affordable (our actually is great and dirt cheap).

I'd definitely avoid the oh-I-can-figure-this-out-myself route on anything that has to do with money, taxes, incorporation, etc. I know it seems like spending money to pay someone for something you could eventually do yourself, but that's often penny-wise and pound-foolish, as they say. You said you've already spent hours Googling to no avail, so what is your time worth? You'd be better off spending those hours doing something constructive (and hopefully something paying) whereas your CPA could probably instantly answer all those questions easily with a short phone call.

So again, probably not the answer you were looking for, but get a CPA. Well worth it, and cheaper in the long run. And no more head-spinning. :)

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Steve Martin
Re: Tax ID? Same as business registration? Massachusetts
on Oct 22, 2011 at 12:32:03 pm

What Todd said... :)

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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