It's all in the mind.

wtlfiaaAbout a year ago, Paul Graboff, a graphic designer in Takoma Park, Maryland, began gathering financial records from his business for his annual visit to his accountant. He was feeling pretty good about the money he had made in 2013. The three lean years he’d spent establishing his business paid off.

A couple of months later, Graboff received a rude awakening. Didn’t he know about the self-employment tax that would shave an additional 15 percent off his income? Hadn’t he been paying enough estimated tax on the money he was earning? Graboff owed more in taxes than he had in cash. That meant he’d probably have to defer buying that important new Macintosh equipment a little longer.

“When we got involved, he was already behind the eight ball,” said Terry Rice, the Washington, D.C., certified public accountant to whom Graboff turned. “There wasn’t much we could do about 2014.”…

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