2016 has begun and if you work as a mystery shopper, you will discover that most employers classify you as an independent contractor. An independent contractor is considered self-employed and requires you to keep track of all your paperwork like your income, expenses, and taxes.
Hopefully during the year, you organized all your paperwork for easy tax filing. If you did not organize your files during the year, there is no need to panic or feel overwhelmed with finding all the paperwork in time for tax season.
If you start taking small steps between now and April, you should be well prepared to file your taxes on time. You should remember that not every mystery shopper site may send you an end of the year W-4 tax form, especially if you only work a couple of times for an employer. If you take note of all your present employers or print out your work histories during the last year, then you are almost done with your paperwork. If you want to keep this filing system simple, then one or two file folders should suffice.
You can also insert a separate colored sheet or tab between each job within your file folder, or notebook, or use a ledger to record the employers, amounts earned, and expenses incurred. Be sure you save your receipts and place them in the notebook pocket or somewhere where you can readily find them. If you are more computer literate, there are many software systems that can be used to record amounts earned and employer names, but you still would need a file to save all expenses. In just a couple of hours or so, you can be tax ready for the April filing deadline.