SOURCE: Xero

Xero

March 04, 2016 08:00 ET

Xero Launches TaxTouch to Help Freelancers Manage Business Expenses

New Research Shows That 92% of Freelancers Using On-Demand Platforms Are Happy With Their Job -- But May Be Leaving Money on the Table

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 4, 2016) -

  • Xero TaxTouch makes it easy for freelancers to track business expenses and maximize business related tax deductions
  • Streamlines tax preparation for their tax professionals
  • New survey finds on-demand workers are overwhelmingly satisfied with their job, yet 75% don't use professional tax help and 27% lose out on income by not deducting expenses

The proliferation of ride-sharing, food delivery and personal assistant apps have become a growing source of work for the 54 million freelancers in the U.S. Xero (@Xero), known for its beautiful accounting software, today launched Xero TaxTouch, its first-ever offering for freelancers. Xero TaxTouch is a new app developed specifically for anyone who submits a Schedule C form with their tax filings.

An Easy Way to Track Income and Tax Liabilities
Xero TaxTouch app allows a user to automatically download bank and credit card transactions from major U.S. banks and credit cards, and provides an easy way to track business expenses and maximize business tax deductions. With one tap, the app generates a report detailing Schedule C data, making it faster and easier for freelancers and their tax professionals to prepare yearly tax returns.

Users can separate business expenses from personal expenses by swiping right for business or left for personal. Xero TaxTouch brings an end to costly surprises by estimating quarterly tax payments and helping to continually track business-related earnings. It also helps freelancers save money by categorizing expenses according to IRS-approved business deductions categories.

Xero TaxTouch is priced at $5.99/month, or $29.99 for the first year and will be available for download on iOS from the App Store on March 8, 2016.

A Growing Workforce
Xero calculates that 11.4 million people now make up the on-demand freelance workforce. To understand more about life as a gig worker, Xero commissioned a survey of over 300 freelancers who find work using on-demand marketplaces including Uber, Lyft, Freelancer.com and TaskRabbit.

The survey found an overwhelming 92 percent of those earning income from on-demand marketplaces are happy with their job. These figures are in stark contrast with a recent Gallup poll which found that just 31.5 percent of U.S. workers feel "engaged" by their jobs, with 51 percent "not engaged" and 17.5 percent "actively disengaged."

However many freelancers are not tax savvy and may be leaving money on the table. Ten percent of respondents are surprised at tax time because they don't know or understand their tax responsibilities; and more than one-quarter don't track or deduct business expenses from their taxes. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed do not file quarterly tax estimates.

Almost three-quarters do not work with a professional to file their taxes; 37 percent use an online tax program; 20 percent use a desktop computer program; and 16 percent complete their own IRS forms.

Comments on the News
Xero's U.S. President, Russell Fujioka

"The way people work is changing, as is the way individuals generate income, track their business earnings and manage their taxes. This inevitably creates new opportunities for the accounting profession. Xero TaxTouch has been thoughtfully designed to simply meet the needs of the freelance workforce and to make life easier for tax professionals."

Xero's General Manager, Jamie Sutherland
"Workers in the freelance economy clearly love the flexibility of working this way. With Xero TaxTouch we aim to make their lives a little easier -- and a little richer -- by giving them a worry-free solution that fits their mobile lifestyle."

Jeremy Smith, Director H&R Block Small Business
"Xero is a valued partner, and we are excited about the potential benefits of Xero TaxTouch for our tax filers and tax professionals." 

David Emmerman, Partner, Emmerman, Boyle, Associates LLP
"We are seeing more and more of our clients working in the on-demand economy. They're giving up full-time employment and working on a per gig basis because they enjoy the flexibility and freedom it affords.

"Tracking expenses and income is key to their success and we have been impressed by the simplicity and ease-of-use of Xero TaxTouch."

Additional Information:
Further insights on the on-demand workforce:
More than half (53 percent) consider their job a career, not just a way to earn additional income. Yet, on-demand workers don't earn a lot: nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed are earning $400-$2,000 annually, while 34 percent earn from $2,000-$10,000, 14 percent generate income up to $50,000 and only four percent reported an income in excess of $50,000 per year. The survey also found that 96 percent of gig workers surveyed have another source of income: 39 percent have a part-time job, 28 percent work full-time, and 22 percent do more traditional freelance or contract work.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Uber (34 percent) was the most popular freelance marketplace used by the survey participants while Freelancer.com (14 percent), TaskRabbit (13 percent) and Lyft (13 percent) round out the top four. Forty-four percent noted they work with only one marketplace, but 42 percent said they use two to three and 14 percent use four or more to generate additional income.

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About Xero
Xero is beautiful, easy to use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. The company has over 600,000 subscribers in more than 180 countries. Xero boasts more than 500 third-party integrations and was ranked No. 1 by Forbes as the World's Most Innovative Growth Company in 2014 and 2015.