How Much Should You Put Away For Taxes As A Sole Proprietor?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Feb 18, 2023
Small Business Insurance Colorado

Being a sole proprietor has its perks, including being your own boss and having full control over your business. However, when it comes to taxes, it can be a bit complicated. Unlike traditional employees, sole proprietors are responsible for paying their own taxes, including income tax, self-employment tax, and other taxes related to their business. It’s essential to understand how much you should put away for taxes to avoid any surprises come tax season.

Here are some things to consider when determining how much to set aside for taxes:

Understand the Different Types of Taxes

Before calculating how much to set aside for taxes, it’s essential to understand the different types of taxes that a sole proprietor is responsible for. These include:

  • Income Tax: Sole proprietors are required to pay federal and state income tax on their profits.
  • Self-Employment Tax: This tax is imposed on self-employed individuals to cover Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  • Sales Tax: Depending on your state, you may be required to collect and pay sales tax on goods and services sold.
  • Excise Tax: This tax is imposed on specific goods and services such as gasoline, tobacco, and alcohol.

Calculate Your Estimated Taxable Income

Once you understand the different types of taxes, the next step is to calculate your estimated taxable income. This is the amount of money you expect to make after deducting any business expenses. The estimated taxable income is used to calculate your income tax and self-employment tax.

You can use a tax calculator or consult with a tax professional to determine your estimated taxable income. Once you have this number, you can use it to calculate how much to set aside for taxes.

Set Aside Money for Taxes Regularly

One of the common mistakes that sole proprietors make is not setting aside money for taxes regularly. It’s essential to set aside money regularly to avoid any financial strain come tax season. A general rule of thumb is to set aside 30% of your profits for taxes.

It’s also a good idea to open a separate bank account dedicated to taxes. This will help you keep track of your tax payments and ensure that you have enough money set aside for taxes.

Keep Accurate Records

Keeping accurate records is crucial for a sole proprietor. It’s essential to keep track of all income and expenses related to your business. This will help you determine your taxable income and ensure that you’re deducting all eligible business expenses.

Having accurate records will also make it easier to file your taxes and avoid any potential issues with the IRS. Consider using accounting software to keep track of your finances and stay organized.


As a sole proprietor, it’s important to understand how much to set aside for taxes. By understanding the different types of taxes, calculating your estimated taxable income, setting aside money regularly, and keeping accurate records, you can avoid any surprises come tax season and ensure that you’re fulfilling your tax obligations.

Remember that taxes can be complicated, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a tax professional if you have any questions or concerns.

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