Bringing Banking to the Cloud


Traditional banks have been very hesitant to embrace the opportunities afforded by operating in the cloud. Security concerns, often unfounded, make the public cloud a particular point of fear for most traditional financial institutions, despite the many benefits it offers in terms of efficiency, scalability, and innovation. As a result, banks are pouring significant resources into building their own private cloud solutions.


However, the private cloud model, when taking the total solution in aggregate, misses out on the main advantages of cloud itself when considering 3 major concerns. First, the isolation of the private cloud model severely limits the cost efficiencies that can only be realized with the global economies of scale enabled by the public cloud. Second, implementation, switching, and maintenance costs of the underlying private cloud infrastructure will often completely erode any marginal efficiency gains realized by operating in a private cloud. Third, and most importantly, private cloud infrastructure can never keep up with the pace of innovation that the public cloud is offering. Sadly, if large banks ever actually complete their private cloud model, they will immediately be 5 years behind the industry on new cloud capabilities, especially when compared to what innovative fin-tech startup competitors can do with the public cloud.


Moven, on the other hand, has no legacy concerns to worry about and is able to fully leverage public cloud economies of scale and innovation. In fact, Moven is leveraging Amazon’s public cloud to enable its “smart bank account” distribution model across the globe, most recently with TD Bank Canada and Westpac New Zealand. Because of this, Moven bypasses many of the restrictions big banks encounter with the private cloud, enabling unprecedented global expansion of innovative business capabilities, while being even more secure than a private data center or private cloud model.


In fact, Moven is not just leveraging Amazon’s public cloud to “host infrastructure”, but has built a proprietary technology on top of AWS’s “Infrastructure as Code” capabilities, dubbed the Moven Global Distributor (MGD). The MGD has enabled Moven to take the Agile method to the extreme with advanced continuous delivery, radical development efficiency, and ultra-high quality environment management.  As an example, Moven is able to deploy an entire enterprise financial wellness and banking stack to any AWS-enabled country in a matter of hours, something that would take a large bank over a year to complete, while supporting a globally replicated multi-tenant model that segments client data in each country but still enforces a re-usable model across clients.

Screenshot 2016-05-24 16.07.15

TD MySpend – Changing the way Banks & Fintechs work together


Two weeks ago, at Finovate in San Jose, we presented “TD MySpend” on stage with Rizwan Khalfan, the Chief Digital Officer of our partner TD Bank. You can watch a video of that presentation here. But let me tell you why we think that TD MySpend is such an important milestone, not just for Moven but for the FinTech space as a whole.

  1. Re-inventing PFM – At Moven, we’ve long talked about the goal of killing the need for budgeting. TD MySpend represents a huge step in that direction. Why? For us, traditional budgeting tools, PFM tools, and similar approaches have two defining characteristics: They are anchored by or oriented around specific “goals”. They are dependent on “rear-view” analysis (i.e. reviewing behaviors that happened in the past by at least a day, most likely a couple of weeks or more before the user actually looks at it).  TD MySpend breaks this model in two major ways. Firstly, it’s not about setting goals, it’s about being aware of habits. Secondly, insight is provided in real time, as soon as you purchase something with a TD debit or credit card. In our opinion this takes traditional PFM/Budgeting from a niche use case (that will benefit and be adopted by a precious few who are willing to work hard to set it up and maintain it) and blows it up into a mass market use case that everyone can easily adopt and benefit from. Early results of TD MySpend are showing just that.


  1. Challenging omni-channel – TD MySpend is a mobile app and for the foreseeable future, it only needs to be a mobile app compatible with other mobile devices like watches. Why? Because TD MySpend’s value is about everyday lifestyle and spending. And everyday lifestyle and spending happens mainly when you are out and about. It happens when you swipe your card or tap your phone. Not on a tablet, and not on your work desktop. So, when many in the banking industry still hold tight to the omni-channel commandment of “equal services across all channels”, TD MySpend is blazing a new trail by following customer behaviors. Over the long term, narrowing the channel focus ought to reduce long term costs and increase speed and agility significantly.


  1. Leading the way for bank/fintech partnerships – Here are a couple of words that describe the TD MySpend solution approach – cloud based, real time, agile, companion app. How often do these words describe a typical bank/tech vendor solution? We’re working with TD in new ways that test both them and us. Both of us had to define new ways to work so that we could drive rapid innovation at enterprise scale.


We’re very proud to have partnered with TD on MySpend. We couldn’t be more excited by its launch and its gangbuster growth since then. This weekend it was the #2 downloaded app in all of Canada…behind Snapchat but ahead of Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.  What’s more… advertising hasn’t even started.  How about that for a banking app!


How the Smartphone Revolutionized Personal Finance


The smartphone revolution is about much more than putting mobile devices into the pockets of people all over the world. It’s largely about giving people access to apps that they can use to simplify their lives.

Through mobile apps, people have taken charge of their personal finances like never before. Consider these three ways that your smartphone can help you take control of your spending:

1. Smartphone Apps Making Banking Easy

According to research from the Pew Research Center, about 57 percent of smartphone owners use their devices for online banking. Apps that connect people to their bank accounts give them more control over their money than traditional bank accounts and paper checks.

Some of the top features to look for in banking apps include options that let you:

  • Pay for purchases with your phone
  • Link all of your accounts to one location
  • Access your account at any time
  • Receive notifications to avoid overdraft fees
  • Deposit checks remotely

Plus, you can track your spending. If you work freelance, then you can use the app to organize your business expenses. That feature comes in handy when you’re figuring out how much you can deduct on your tax forms.

2. Smartphone Apps Encourage Smart Spending

Managing your personal finances isn’t just about accessing your money. It’s also about spending money in smart ways.
Smartphones have become essential for commuters who want to spend as little money as possible, and the Uber app is a perfect example. When you compare the price of using Uber with the price of using a traditional taxi, it becomes obvious that Uber helps you spend less, especially since you don’t tip Uber drivers. In Los Angeles, a five-mile taxi ride costs $19.62 after tip. Using Uber lowers the price to just $9.40.

The effect on “millennials,” or those reaching adulthood around the year 2000, is huge. The myth is that millennials waste money by buying products and services via their smartphones. The truth is that using a smartphone is a responsible way to manage money, spend mindfully and comparison shop to always get the best prices.

3. Improve Productivity to Make More Money

Some smartphone apps can help you make more money, especially if you work freelance or have a job that pays bonuses for meeting goals. Adding a productivity app to your phone can help ensure that you make enough money to finance your lifestyle while you save for the future.
Some useful apps include:

The new financial landscape is all about putting you in control of your money. When you make your smartphone a central part of your financial plan, it will reward you.


Money 2020 Europe

FinTech Collaboration – Bet your job on it


FIs have complex, expensive and rigid IT environments and processes. They live in a poorly integrated batch world while their customers have moved on to a real time – always-on commerce model that they are challenged to support.  If it were just as easy as appointing a Chief Innovation/Digital/Cool Dude Officer or establishing a Venture arm we wouldn’t still be where we are.  Sadly, hard problems rarely have simple solutions. A recent Citigroup report has predicted a reduction in banking staff of 30% over the next decade. This quantifies the urgent pressures financial services firms are facing. We’ve heard this for years, but this time it is different. Why?


This time it’s different…


There are two drastic changes that make this cycle of disruption and innovation different from prior decades.


The customer is in charge. Customer expectations have leaped forward. A new generation of customers, and a few digital savvy older ones, don’t visit branches, fill out applications, fax documents, and wait 5-7 business days for anything. They expect an always-on digital experience that helps them to do what THEY want to do. They are not interested in YOUR product. In prior years, while the customer wanted a different experience, they didn’t really have any alternatives. Moving from one bank to another was very difficult and often resulted in little more than the color of their plastic changing.


Today, your customers have choices. IT firms, retailers, Telco’s, Fintechs and neo-banks are in the fray disrupting banks, siphoning off profitable customers and services, and filling the void between customer expectations and heritage bank products.


Fintech Competition. Fintech firms have raised $7B USD in January of this year alone. The venture capital market is voting that financial services is in need of disruption and customers are voting with their wallets.  Firms such as Betterment, Moven, Lending Club and Stripe are disrupting customer acquisition, payments, wellness, investments and loans. Each of these fintechs have established themselves as formidable competition to any bank by innovating and optimizing the processes that customers care about most.  This is being done through a counterintuitive change in business, technology, or model. That’s the bad news. That’s the bet your job news.



Fintech Collaboration. Fintechs provide FIs an opportunity to leapfrog traditional incremental development and deploy digital services better/faster/cheaper with wildly different economics. Chances are, in every strategic process you have today, there are dozens of well-funded Fintech firms focusing on disrupting that process and changing the economics. What happens if they join forces? Ondeck and Chase, Moven and TD are just two examples. Cooperation is enabling the internal disruption that will drive change within an organization, instead of waiting for the disruption to come externally.


The real opportunity is to combine the innovation and unconventional thinking of Fintechs with the reach and resources of traditional financial institutions.  In recent research by Cubeyou, when Millennials are asked about relevance, Fintechs like Moven, Gobank and Simple top the list, while the same group rates Chase, American Express and USAA as tops for reach. Collaboration across these dimensions is the key to industry innovation.


A word of caution, the bureaucratic force is strong in FIs. The institutional temptation to either build it or kill it, is the graveyard of many great ideas.


The conservative posture of IT and Risk Management, the vendor hostile orientation of Strategic Sourcing and the Middle Management fear of failure, are a toxic trilogy to thwart real innovation. If you are not failing occasionally, you’re not innovating enough. If it takes longer to negotiate the contract and pick a vendor than it does to do the project, you’re not moving fast enough. If you find yourself falling back to a product orientation, you’re not being new enough.  In the endless pursuit of better, faster, cheaper – you’ll need to change your behavior to get different results. FinTechs can help.

Want to hear more? Join us at Money 20/20 Europe on Thursday, April 6th, where we will be talking more in depth about FinTech collaboration.


Finding Financial Services to Fit a Freelance Lifestyle


Just as you think, dress and speak differently from previous generations, chances are you also earn your living differently. More and more people are bringing home the bacon by working freelance jobs in addition to their primary occupation to help make ends meet or to build up savings. Whether you’re a freelancer, an Uber driver, a dog walker or all of the above, if your income is coming from multiple sources, managing those streams can quickly become a complicated mess. Thankfully, there are many tools out there now to help you navigate your finances with ease so that your budgeting stays on track. What’s left up to you is figuring out which option fits you and your lifestyle best!

Web Management

Accounting websites such as are fantastic tools for those with multiple income streams. They allow you to receive all your money in one place, organized according to who paid you and when. This is especially helpful when tax season rolls around so that you don’t have to go back through a year’s worth of bank statements to figure out how much you received and where it came from! The money goes straight into your PayPal account, it’s all itemized for you, and you can even write electronic invoices to send to customers. Easy, right? The great part is that offers these services for free; you pay a monthly fee only to upgrade to an account that allows you to receive credit card payments or to have payments go directly to your bank account.

Take Advantage of Free Checking

Does your bank offer free checking accounts? Take advantage of it! Sometimes adding a second checking account can make navigating your finances that much easier. Have all of your income deposited into your primary account and pay your monthly bills out of it, then transfer money to a secondary account for your weekly expenses (gas, food, spending, etc.). Not only does this help you budget better, but it also brings a good degree of order to your accounts. This will make it easy to see all your revenue streams when you look at your bank statement, as your weekly debits won’t be cluttering up your main account ledger. If your bank doesn’t offer free checking, you may want to think about shopping around for a new bank. There are plenty of banks out there that offer free checking, and there’s no reason to pay for something when you don’t have to.

There’s an App for That

It’s true that there’s an app for everything nowadays, and money management is no exception! Many of these apps are free or inexpensive, but they’re invaluable when it comes to getting control of your finances. BillGuard is a great free app that allows you to link your bank accounts directly so that your transactions are automatically imported into the app, then sorted for you. This saves you the hassle of having to input information every time you swipe your debit card. It also shows all your deposits, so you can itemize your income sources easily. Getting your hands on an app that syncs up all your financial info, sorts it for you, and even helps you create a budget is one of the best moves you can make as a freelancer. You’re essentially pooling all your revenue streams into one app, where you can see everything at a glance and make changes as you need.

Whether you’re just getting started with managing multiple income streams or simply trying to find a better way of handling your complex finances, try one of these methods to help you gain control of your money. You may love one method or you can create your own combination; budgeting is all about finding what works for you and sticking with it!



Want to hear more? Tune in to our livestream with the Freelancers Union and General Assembly today (Wed, March 30th) at 2:00pm EST!

Living big on a budget

Living the 1% life on a 99% budget


With New Advances in Technology, Luxury Services are Just a Click Away

We live in an incredible time where luxury goods and services once reserved for the elite are available at the push of a button. Apps like Uber, BlueApron, and AirBnB offer anyone with a smartphone and a little extra cash the chance feel like a VIP on a budget. With sleek design, reasonable prices, and great service, these apps particularly appeal to millennials still making their way through entry-level jobs.

The avalanche of on-demand apps hitting the market every week have ultimately simplified how we go about our days. It’s much easier to press a button and request an Uber than it is to wait for the subway after a night out. And who hasn’t thought about calling for an on-demand massage through apps like Zeel after a long day at work? If you’re willing to pay a small premium, these services will allow you to live the 1% life on a 99% budget. Here are a few things to consider before Uber-fying your life.
Saving Time

A lot of the value in these on-demand services lies in their ability to save users time. You can outsource your household chores through apps like Washio and TaskRabbit, leaving you free to get some extra work done or spend time with friends. Meal delivery apps like Seamless and Postmates save you the hassle of picking up a meal at your favorite take-out spot or (the horror!) using your own kitchen. Ultimately, your time is worth a lot, and by paying for these services, you’re buying yourself a few more minutes in your day. What you choose to do with that time is totally up to you.

Helping in the Long Run

Much of the appeal of many of these new apps lies in instant gratification. Why walk or take public transportation when you can have your own black car drive you around town for a nominal fee? Why cook when you can order gourmet food straight to your door? Some services may save you time and money in the long run, by helping you learn a new skill or travel on a budget. BlueApron, for example, gives new chefs the tools they need to start cooking healthy meals. Ideally, after some time using this service, you’ll have the confidence and skills to shop and cook on your own.

Unlocking New Experiences

One of the best things about these services is that they offer users access to new experiences. Advances in technology combined with the millennial generation’s embrace of the share economy has made services like vacation rentals and personal styling more accessible to all. AirBnB, for example, makes it easy for users to rent a luxury home for a few nights, often for less than a night at a standard hotel. The site often lists unique accommodations, as well – users can treat themselves to a weekend getaway in a decked-out tree house or a retro airstream trailer. These new low-cost housing options have made travel more affordable (and memorable) for all.
With new apps and services launching every day, anyone can feel like a rock star on an entry-level budget. On-demand services can save you time and money while giving you access to unique experiences once reserved for a select few. Who says private cars and luxury accommodations are just for the elite? With these new services, almost anyone can hack their way into a luxury lifestyle.


1099 Chaos: Tips to Reduce the Burden at Tax Time


It’s been said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. It may be necessary to add a third: procrastination. According to the Internal Revenue Service, roughly 25 percent of American taxpayers wait until the last two weeks of taxpaying season to prepare their returns.

But why? You don’t want to be bogged down with boring forms when you’re trying to make money and build your business. You also don’t want to find out you owe Uncle Sam more than you thought — and not be ready to make that payment.

Take a look at these tips on how to ease the burden at tax time and manage your finances better. You owe it to yourself.

Take Advantage of Common Deductions

One perk of being a freelancer, contractor or other self-employed worker is that there are many deductions — even ones you may not have considered — that can reduce the burden at tax time. Remember to keep all your records, set up a business bank account and to not go overboard with deductions (be honest with the government here!).

The most common deductions that will immediately benefit you include your home office, health insurance costs, contract labor expenses, and retirement fund savings (like a contribution to a traditional 401k). Other deductions that can help include:

  • Advertising expenses
  • Business travel costs
  • Office supplies and rent
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Legal and professional services

Think of any expenses that you had to make for your business. Many of these can be deducted from your income, and thus reduce how much you must pay in taxes.

Should You Pay Taxes Quarterly Or Annually?

The simple answer is both. If you carry on a profession or business as an independent contractor or sole proprietor, belong to a partnership or union that carries on a trade or business, or are working for yourself in some way, you are considered self-employed. That means you have to pay your taxes as stipulated by the IRS.

Hence, you must not only file an annual return, you must also pay estimated tax quarterly. Note that taxes include an income tax as well as a self-employment tax, which goes toward Social Security and Medicare.
If you paid less than $1000 in taxes last year, then you can still pay annually (quarterly payments aren’t required). However, if your self-employment income is going to rise significantly, it’s best to pay quarterly so that you’re not stuck with a hefty payment at the end of tax season.
So how do you make sure you’re making accurate payments each quarter? You can base a lot of what you pay this year off what you paid in taxes last year. If you paid a total of $3,600 in taxes last year and expect a similar income this year, it’s advised to pay $900 quarterly. Use Form 1040-ES to figure out a good estimate of how much you’ll owe at the end of each quarter and for the total year.

Software to Help You Stay on Track

When you’re running a business, keeping track of finances and taxes can be time-consuming. And if you want to hire someone, it can be unnecessarily costly. Lucky for you, mobile apps can make the process seamless — and save you money.
For instance, apps can help you track, understand and manage your business expenses throughout the year. There is also tax software available specifically for self-employed individuals that can help you maximize tax savings each quarter.
In the end, reducing the burden at tax time is a matter of you consistently managing your income and business expenses, and also making every effort to prepare yourself for payments. Understanding self-employment taxes and using advanced software certainly reduces the amount of time and stress involved. But the key is to stick to a plan. And don’t procrastinate.

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4 Tips for Freelancers to Avoid Tax Day Surprises


The first April 15 in any freelancer’s career can seem like setting a money management execution date. But even if you’re a newbie to the gigging game, in most cases handling your taxes as a freelancer is only slightly more complicated than handling your personal finances. As long as you mind these key areas, you’ll avoid the most common self-employed tax mistakes.

Keep Deductions On-Point

The key difference between filing taxes as an employee and filing as a self-employed freelancer is that your income isn’t subject to employer withholding, which would normally be automatically deducted from your paychecks to cover social security and Medicare taxes. Instead, what would have been your employment-related taxes are rolled together into a separate “self-employment tax.” The self-employment tax covers your social security and Medicaid taxes, and is assessed in addition to the regular income tax rate.

Most importantly, the self-employment tax applies to your net income after business expenses are deducted. That makes expense deductions the strongest tool for minimizing your tax obligations. Just the same, the IRS has a finely tuned radar when it comes to deduction hijinks from the self-employed, so make sure you’re following the IRS guidelines to the letter.

Documentation Is King

Every single cent you’ve earned and spent throughout the year should be accounted for, with clear documentation to support your case. While this is most important for your deductions, there’s no telling what aspects of your financial landscape might be explored during an audit, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to get a receipt for anything and everything under the sun, and when that isn’t possible, keep your own detailed records in a spreadsheet or budgeting program.

Avoid the Home Office Audit

Claiming expenses for a home office is a red flag for IRS auditors, so only do it when you’re sure you can support the claim. To qualify for deductions, a home office needs to be its own separate space (almost always its own room, or an external structure) that’s used exclusively for business. That means if you work on your laptop in the living room, you’re out of luck. Consult the IRS’ home office guidelines to be sure your setup qualifies.

1099s Don’t Issue Themselves

If you’ve ever held a regular job as an employee, get ready to feel nostalgic for the days when a W-2 magically appeared in your mailbox. Now that you’re self-employed, you need to be issued a 1099 form documenting your income from any client who paid you $600 or more that year. Businesses are required to issue 1099s to freelancers, so if you’re still missing the paperwork from a client come the New Year, don’t be afraid to remind them of their obligations.

Once you’ve carefully reviewed your deductions and organized all the necessary documentation, you’ll be well on your way to avoiding the most common freelancer tax mistakes, and can reap the benefits of your good tax habits in years to come.

Banks aren’t meeting your freelance needs? Sign up for a better banking experience here.



1099s and Freelancers: Tips to Keep You Stress-Free at Tax Time


Tax season can be overwhelming for first-time freelancers filing self-employed taxes. By focusing your efforts on good financial habits to keep all year, and learning which deductions you may be eligible to receive, you’ll save yourself time, money and countless headaches.

Deductions to Consider

Deductions are your best friend. No matter what type of freelancer you are, almost everything you do for work can be deducted if your situation fits. Here is a short list of deductions a freelancer may be able to claim.

Office Space

This is the main deduction for most freelancers, especially those who work from home. This deduction allows you to claim a portion of your utilities, rent or mortgage, and homeowner’s insurance as part of your business, as long as your office space is used solely for that purpose.

For decades, this deduction was hard to claim. In 2013, the IRS made getting the home office deduction easier. With the “simplified method,” as described by Fast Company and The Freelancer’s Union, you can calculate your home office’s space by square foot to claim a deduction — $5 per square foot, up to $1,500 or 300 feet.

Business Travel Expenses

If you are a freelancer who travels for work or to meet with clients, you are eligible for travel deductions; this includes everything travel-related for your business — from airfare and hotel stays to car trips to meet with potential clients.

Keep in mind that special rules do apply for certain aspects, such as food and entertainment. The Money Crashers website reports that only 50 percent of expenses can be deducted.

Research Materials

Few freelancers realize that research materials needed to complete a project can be deducted. Wise Bread has created a long list of eligible materials, and the rule of thumb is that if you use a reference material, such as a book, a magazine or information culled from a conference or cultural event, you can deduct that cost from your overall expenses. This deduction is critical for freelance writers and artists, who frequently purchase expensive reference materials for their libraries.

Educational Expenses

With the advent of online learning, freelancers are heading to online classes and master workshops in droves to improve their skill set in their chosen field. Any class that helps improve your business counts as a deduction, as does a workshop or an educational conference. Books and materials you need for those classes can count, too, as long as you finish the course and receive a certificate of completion.

Financial Habits to Keep All Year

To be ready for tax time, you must be diligent about keeping good financial habits throughout the year.

Keep every receipt from every purchase, and scan it into a record-keeping software to track your expenses and help you discern what is a business expense and what is personal. It will also simplify totaling up your deductions at the end of the year.

Another tip is to figure out how much you will have to pay in taxes based on what you make a year. Since your income may change from month to month, calculate income tax and any other taxes you may have to pay ahead of time, and set that money aside.

Being a freelancer is a rewarding experience, but it comes with responsibility as well, especially during tax time. Take the time to prepare all year, and it will be a simple task when it’s time to file.


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5 Unusual Ways to Slash a 1099 Freelancer’s Tax Bill


If you’re a freelancer regularly scrambling for a new gig, you may consider taxes just one more hassle you have to wrestle. The good news? Uncle Sam understands that independent contractors and moderate-income workers have a distinct set of challenges from full-time employees, and wrote sections of the tax code to help lighten your financial burden. However, if you don’t know about these legitimate ways to cut your tax bill, you may wind up overpaying. Each American, on average, sends the government $400 too much in tax money. That’s nearly a billion dollars in total. As a freelancer who receives 1099s, learn how to reduce the amount you owe the government with these tax breaks.

1. Saver’s Credit

Depositing money into a Roth IRA is a great tax deduction. (If you don’t have an IRA, you should seriously consider opening one.) In addition to an IRA deduction, there’s a lesser-known credit that’s only used by 12 percent of eligible taxpayers: the saver’s credit. Created by the IRS to encourage low- and moderate-income workers to save for retirement, the credit can be taken for any contribution made to an IRA, 401K, 403B, 457B or other government-recognized retirement account. The saver’s credit is offered in addition to the deduction a taxpayer receives from an IRA credit, and can increase your refund or reduce the tax owed.

2. Health Savings Account

Used to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, a Health Savings Account (HSA) can be tax-deductible or made with pre-tax dollars. In order to qualify for this tax break, you need to have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Typically, these plans won’t pay many benefits until the deductible amount has been covered. For 2015, the minimum deductibles needed to qualify as an HDHP were $1,300 for an individual and $2,600 for family coverage. These HSA funds can be used to pay for doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital visits and even over-the-counter medicine prescribed by a physician.

3. Simplified Employee Pension

It’s possible for a self-employed worker to get many of the same pension benefits as an employee of a large organization. Establishing a simplified employee pension (SEP) with the IRS can be as easy as filling out a form and utilizing a government-approved plan. A SEP allows the worker to contribute as much as 25 percent of net earnings from self-employment, up to $53,000 (in the years 2015 and 2016). These pensions have also been known as Keogh plans, although that term isn’t used as often these days.

4. Job-Hunting Expenses

Did hunting for a new job require you to pay for networking events, travel to an interview or business cards? These expenses can be itemized and deducted from your taxes. For freelancers, though, the expenses need to have exceeded 2 percent of your adjusted gross income in order to be deductible. Be sure to research what’s allowable before filing your taxes.

5. Education Credits

Still paying off student loans? Interest from those loans can be deducted, up to $2,500. A nice part about this credit is that it isn’t necessary to itemize in order to take it. The Lifetime Learning Credit makes it possible to deduct any classes taken for academic credit or professional development, up to $2,000. Did you need to take a class to learn how use software for your job? That can be tax-deductible.

Since every paycheck counts for a 1099 freelancer, you don’t want to wind up with a huge tax bill after a year of hard work. You can reduce your financial burden with breaks and credits already on the books. With the right adjustments, you may wind up being one of the 80 percent of taxpayers who receive a refund.

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