It was Thomas Jefferson that said two things in life are certain — death and taxes.
Fortunately, this article is not about death, though some people act as if they would rather die than deal with taxes.
Due to modernity, taxes aren’t the same red tape and pile of papers that it was before the internet.
Most of us have it easy now, but what about traveling nurses? Don’t they have a somewhat complex tax situation?
Navigating the realm of taxes as a travel nurse may not be as difficult as it seems. In this article, we’ll discuss the best tax software for travel nurses and which factors you may want to consider when filing.
Table of Contents
- Factors to Consider Before Filing Taxes Using Tax Software vs. Filing Taxes With an Accountant
- Die-Hard DIYer? Here Are the 6 Best Tax Software Options for Travel Nurses
- 3 Factors To Consider When Choosing the Best Tax Software for Travel Nurses
- Trusted Nurse Staffing: Supporting Travel Nurses Through Tax Season and Always
Factors to Consider Before Filing Taxes Using Tax Software vs. Filing Taxes With an Accountant
Travel nursing presents a unique tax situation.
There are many factors to consider when preparing your taxes, and even more when you’re a traveling nurse. Let’s go over some main factors to consider before getting into the pros vs cons.
Multistate tax submissions and tax homes: Travel nurses get to travel, which is a life bonus and a tax complication. Each state you work in will require you to file a tax return. You will also have to establish a tax home. Without a tax home, you may have to pay taxes on what would otherwise be considered non-taxable income (stipends, reimbursements, etc).
The IRS defines your tax home as, “the general area or city of your workplace or general business.” Travel nurses may have what would be considered multiple tax homes a year. So how do travel nurses establish a tax home?
The two factors that establish tax homes are:
- The area where most of your income is generated
- A residence that you visit at least once a year and can show proof of financial maintenance.
State-specific tax requirements: Some states require you to pay income taxes, regardless of whether your residence is permanent. This may result in you getting double-deducted, when this happens you usually will be reimbursed through your tax return. Deduction amounts will vary from state to state.
Tax classification and employment status: Some travel nurse agencies will require you to fill out a W2 (which makes you an employee of the agency) or 1099 (which makes you a contractor). Both tax forms are filed differently.
Preparing quarterly tax estimates: As a travel nurse and an independent contractor (1099 tax form), you may be required to pay quarterly taxes (estimated taxes) for the year. This is because independent contractors do not pay tax withholdings.
The quarterly taxes should be due on the 15th of April, June, September, and January. You should be expected to pay 25% of the amount of taxes you expect to owe for the year on these dates.
No matter your tax situation, Trusted Nurse Staffing wants to help. We’ve created a way to help you easily find travel nurse assignments with Pronto.
Tax Software Pros and Cons
- Tax software may be cheaper than hiring an accountant. Pricing may vary between tax software.
- Tax software can go with you, wherever you are.
- Electronic filing is faster and easier than paper filing.
- You may not have direct support when filing. Customer service employees are not versed in everything tax related. You may have a question that is above their knowledge and pay grade to accurately answer.
- There is a chance that you misread instructions and submit inaccuracies, this could increase your chance of getting audited by the IRS.
- You have to do your own research.
Accountant Pros and Cons
- Your tax accountant will likely have all of your information and is versed in tax law and filing. You may have a better customer service experience than you would with tax software.
- A tax accountant may reduce the chance of mistakes or audits.
- Someone else does all the leg work for you!
- It may cost significantly more to use a tax account than tax software.
- Your tax accountant may not be familiar with filing laws in different states.
- Meeting with your tax accountant may be more complicated due to your traveling, especially if you are required to file quarterly.
Die-Hard DIYer? Here Are the 6 Best Tax Software Options for Travel Nurses
Don’t want to use a tax accountant? No problem! We’ve compiled a list of the best tax software options for travel nurses so you don’t have to.
Consider it one less thing you will have to research when filing your own taxes as a travel nurse.
TravelTax is a tax software company that specializes in helping travel professionals prepare and file their taxes. This software was created for the sole purpose of helping travel workers who receive non-taxable stipends. Considering this, TravelTax may be one of the best tax software for travel nurses.
TravelTax has experience helping travel nurses with a variety of tax factors including:
- Establishing tax homes
- Tax filing extensions
- Audit representation
- Preparing quarterly tax estimates
TravelTax also offers home consults to help you figure out how to establish and/or move your tax home.
As of 2023, the cost for preparing and filing your travel nurse tax return(s) is $298. Prices may vary upon consultation and if you have a spouse or dependent(s).
This tax software was named the “best overall tax software in 2023” by Business Insider. It is a tax software that is extremely useful for small business owners, possibly making it the second-best tax software for traveling nurses.
The step-by-step guidance portal provides easy instructions for filing. TaxAct also provides in-depth tools that spot inaccuracies and a 24-hour support line to help you with all your tax needs.
TaxAct does not have an import for tax documents, so you may have to manually enter all of your tax information.
TaxAct provides free federal and state e-filing, but because of the additional tax information you may need to provide you may want to subscribe to the deluxe version. As of 2023, the deluxe version costs $24.95 federally and $44.95 per state.
Trusted Nurse Staffing can’t file your taxes for you, but we can provide the support and compensation you deserve. Our professional recruiters can help you find your dream travel nurse assignment today!
TurboTax has been a market leader in the tax software industry since 1993. With a streamlined step-by-step process, TurboTax may be one of the easiest software to use for filing simpler taxes returns.
TurboTax is one of the more expensive tax software. Simpler tax returns only qualify for the free version of TurboTax.
A live tax expert can help you file your returns and answer any questions you may want to ask about your unique tax situation for $99+.
TurboTax is free for simple returns and costs $59+ for the deluxe version.
TaxSlayer offers four different plans with varying degrees of assistance. This is one of the top picks for filers that are self-employed with simpler returns.
More familiar filers may be more suited for this software. If this is your first time filing a tax return as a travel nurse, you may want to consider other software.
TaxSlayer is a great tax software for travel nurses on a tight tax budget. It is free to file uncomplicated tax returns and $54 to use its premium tax services.
#5: H&R Block
H&R Block offers four different ways to file your taxes, including in-person and online. This software has a navigable interface that makes filing your taxes quick and easy.
H&R Block also provides high-quality customer support with a 24/7 line that can help you stress less this tax season and any other.
It is free to file your state and federal taxes through H&R Block. As a travel nurse, you may need more informational tax support. In that case, you can expect to pay $110 to file federally and $37 per state.
#6: IRS Free File
Do you consider yourself a seasoned tax pro? If you make less than $73,000 a year, you may be able to file your taxes free through the IRS.
You may choose to file electronically or on paper.
Filing through the IRS can:
- Save you money
- Ease your mind
- Gain financial insight
By filing your tax return through the IRS, you can rest easy that the one person you trust the most is filing your taxes: You! Despite the risk of error and the amount of time spent researching, over 150 million Americans successfully file their taxes through the IRS every year.
3 Factors To Consider When Choosing the Best Tax Software for Travel Nurses
Filing your taxes is a little like going to the gym. You will only get good results if you use the equipment properly. Even with professional software, there might be a chance that you make mistakes while filing in multiple states.
#1: Have You Worked in Multiple States This Year?
Free tax software may not provide the tax fields to submit your filing information. Some tax software may also charge per state filing. You may need to purchase premium software to successfully file your tax return.
#2: What if You Need Technical Support?
Taxes can be frustrating, confusing, and maybe a bit stressful. We can all use a little help with taxes. Some tax software has professional tax accounts that may be able to help you navigate the world of taxes as a travel nurse.
Some charges may apply if you choose to use the software’s technical support. Be sure to choose the tax software that provides good technical support.
#3: Do You Know What Deductions You Qualify For?
Keep track of your expenses! You might be able to write some of them off for tax deductions, It might be advisable to keep a receipt book to help you easily prepare your taxes.
Some expenses you may be able to write off might include:
- Vehicle expenses like gas mileage and maintenance
- Rental cars
- Financial contributions like insurance and retirement
- The cost of establishing and maintaining your tax home
- Licensure fees
- Continuing your nursing education
- Other travel expenses
Keep track of your contracts because they may contain information that is pertinent for correctly filing your returns, especially if each one of your returns is in other states outside of your tax home.
Trusted Nurse Staffing: Supporting Travel Nurses Through Tax Season and Always
You want to choose the best tax software for travel nurses, so it only makes sense that you would also want the best staffing agency to find your assignments.
Trusted Nurse Staffing has been helping travel nurses find assignments since 2008. Our award-winning services prioritize communication and exceptional commitment to service.
We are one of the highest-paying staffing agencies in the business, and we are here to help travel nurses get assignments they love with phenomenal pay.
We also offer:
- Sign-on bonuses
- Stipends for travel, housing, and meals
- Flexible contracts
- Full or part-time work
- Referral and completion bonuses
- Healthcare benefits
- 24/7 support from your recruiter and our team
Trust in Trusted Nurse Staffing, and search for jobs with Pronto!