1. TurboTax /
  2. Tax Calculators & Tips /
  3. Tax Tips Guides & Videos /
  4. IRS Tax Forms /
  5. Video: What is Schedule C-EZ: Profit or Loss from a Business?

Video: What is Schedule C-EZ: Profit or Loss from a Business?

Updated for Tax Year 2019


OVERVIEW

When you earn income from self-employment, preparing your tax return can be more complicated than when you only earn income from an employer. Schedule C-EZ can make the filing process much simpler. Watch this video to learn more.


Video transcript:

Hello, I’m Jill from TurboTax with some important information for self-employed taxpayers.

Preparing your tax return when reporting self-employment earnings can be a little more complex than when your income is from employment. This is because of the Schedule C form you must prepare when your net profit is $400 or more. However, if you are eligible to file the shorter Schedule C-EZ, you may just save some time preparing your taxes.

Schedules C and C-EZ are used to report the income and expenses that relate solely to your self-employment activities. However, you must also report the net profit or loss in the income section of your 1040 form.

But before evaluating whether you are eligible to use the shorter Schedule C-EZ, you need to insure that you are in fact self-employed.

You are self-employed if you operate a business as a sole proprietor, including a limited liability company you are the sole member of. You are also self-employed if you earn income as an independent contractor.

When preparing a Schedule C, you must report your business expenses in the appropriate categories listed on the form, such as advertising, insurance and rent expenses, to name just a few.

The Schedule C-EZ, however, is simpler to prepare since it allows you to report business expenses on one line instead of having to account for them by category. But in order to use the Schedule C-EZ, you must satisfy a number of requirements first. If you fail to satisfy even one—you must use the full Schedule C.

You can use Schedule C-EZ if:

  • Your total business expenses don’t exceed $5,000,
  • You use the cash method of accounting,
  • Your business or profession doesn’t require inventory,
  • You aren’t reporting a loss,
  • You operate only one business,
  • You don’t receive certain credit card payments,
  • The business has no employees,
  • You don’t claim the home office deduction, and
  • You satisfy the requirements of other less common situations that relate to depreciation and losses from prior years.

One thing to remember is that you must make this evaluation each tax year—eligibility to use the Schedule C-EZ one year doesn’t mean you can use it in all future tax years.

Not sure which form to use? When you file with TurboTax, you don’t need to know a thing about tax forms. We’ll ask you simple questions and determine the filing status and forms that will give you your biggest tax refund.

Perfect for independent contractors
and businesses

Find more tax deductions so you can keep more of the money you earn with TurboTax Self-Employed.

For only $120$90*
Start for Free

Looking for more information?

* Important Offer Details and Disclosures

TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. $0 federal (for simple tax returns) + $0 state + $0 to file offer only available with TurboTax Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.

  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed and TurboTax Live Self-Employed: To receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed through 4/30/21, you must pay for your 2019 TurboTax Self-Employed or TurboTax Live Self-Employed return by 4/15/20 and sign-in and access your QuickBooks Self-Employed account via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax at least twice by 7/15/20. You will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 4/30/21 for another year at the then-current subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison. Offer not valid for existing QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers already on a payment plan.

  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15.3%) for tax year 2019. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.

  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard data rates apply to download and use mobile app.

  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $40 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.

  • TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.

  • Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live or as an upgrade from another version, and available through December 31, 2020. These services are provided only by credentialed CPAs, Enrolled Agents (EAs) or tax attorneys. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. For TurboTax Live, if your return requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return. Intuit may offer a Full Service product to some customers. For the Full Service product, the tax expert will sign your return as preparer. Administrative services may be provided by assistants to the tax expert. Payment by federal refund is not available when a tax expert signs your return. On-screen help is available on a desktop, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Unlimited access to TurboTax Live CPAs and EAs refers to an unlimited quantity of contacts available to each customer, but does not refer to hours of operation or service coverage. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.

  • Smart Insights and My Docs features: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits and is available through 10/31/2021. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.

  • Tax Return Access: Included with all TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or prior year PLUS benefits customers and access to up to the prior seven years of tax returns we have on file for you is available through 10/31/2021. Also included with TurboTax Free Edition after filing your 2019 tax return. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.

  • Easy Online Amend: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Make changes to your 2019 tax return online for up to 3 years after it has been filed and accepted by the IRS through 10/31/2022. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.

  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2018 TurboTax products.

  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.

  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.

  • TurboTax is the #1 rated "easiest to use" and the "tax software with the best advice and options": Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by TopTenReviews.com from June 12, 2019

  • Get tips from Turbo based on your tax and credit data to help get you to where you want to be: Tax and credit data accessed upon your consent.

  • 1099-MISC Snap and Autofill: Included in TurboTax Self-Employed and TurboTax Live Self-Employed. Available in mobile app only. Covers 1099-MISC within Schedule C. Feature currently available for new TurboTax filers with 1099-MISC income.

  • Year-Round Tax Estimator: Included in TurboTax Self-Employed and TurboTax Live Self-Employed only. This product feature is only available for use until after you finish and file in a self-employed product.

TURBOTAX GUARANTEES

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest.

  • Maximum Refund Guarantee - or Your Money Back: If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. TurboTax Online Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $30.

  • 100% Accurate Expert Approved Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty (or interest) because of an error that a TurboTax CPA, EA, or Tax Attorney made while providing topic-specific tax advice, a section review, or acting as a signed preparer for your return, we'll pay you the penalty and interest.

  • Audit Support Guarantee: If you received an audit letter based on your 2019 TurboTax return, we will provide one-on-one support with a tax professional as requested through our Audit Support Center. If we are not able to connect you to one of our tax professionals, we will refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. TurboTax Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $30. We will not represent you or provide legal advice. Excludes TurboTax Business.

  • TurboTax Free Guarantee: $0 Federal + $0 State + $0 To File offer is available for simple tax returns with TurboTax Free Edition. A simple tax return is Form 1040 only, without schedules 1, 2, or 3. Situations covered include:

    • W-2 income
    • Limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV
    • Claiming the standard deduction
    • Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)
    • Child tax credits

  • Satisfaction Guaranteed:
    • If you use TurboTax Online or Mobile:
      Satisfaction Guaranteed — or you don't pay. You may use TurboTax Online without charge up to the point you decide to print or electronically file your tax return. Printing or electronically filing your return reflects your satisfaction with TurboTax Online, at which time you will be required to pay or register for the product.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax from a retailer:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it to Intuit within 60 days of purchase with your dated receipt for a full refund.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax directly from us:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it within 60 days of shipment with your dated receipt for a full refund (excluding shipping & handling).

TURBOTAX CD/DOWNLOAD

  • Installation requirements: Product activation required via Internet. Install on up to 5 of your computers. Download option requires free online Intuit account. You must accept the TurboTax License Agreement to use this product. Not for use by paid preparers. Not for use by paid preparers.

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase. Prices subject to change without notice.

  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

  • Pay for additional TurboTax services out of your federal refund: A $39.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.

  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.

  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2019 TurboTax products.

  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; may require a free Intuit online account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2017 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2017 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.