Personal checking or business checking to put mystery shopping money?

Hello! For the new year I am thinking of opening a new checking account as my CPA does not let me take reimbursements since I mix that money with my other money coming into personal checking. Should I open a business checking or just open a personal checking that has only mystery checking income. Thank you in advance for the advise.

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From what I have seen, business accounts usually have higher fees or require higher balances to avoid fees. You also need paperwork showing you are incorporated or LLC. I don't know if an EIN is sufficient. I honestly don't know what all those terms mean and would choose personal, just because it's simpler. Hopefully someone else here will be able to give more in-depth advice

Open a personal checking account if you want, but get paid to do so. There are account open shops, try Maritz and Athpower. Maybe somebody else knows of others. Also, pick a bank that makes it easy to avoid monthly fees. I'm not sure what you're saying about reimbursements. They're not taxable. I keep good records and commingle at will.
Thank you for taking time to reply. I think I will just open a separate personal checking and of course do a shop opening it.
Definitely let a shop pay you to open a bank account for shopping and take your time to determine what bank or credit union has no monthly or quarterly fees. I'm also confused about what your CPA is driving at about reimbursements, but lets look at making things clear.

Lets say that you open a personal bank account that has a minimum balance to keep it free. After your initial deposit, all of your shop receipts should go into that account--transfer PayPal in, send direct deposits there, deposit any checks into that account. Do not have non shop receipts go into the account. Keep good records yourself about your business. You get in a check that is for $123.00. Your records should show that the check is for $26 in fees and $97 in reimbursements. Showing on your records the 4 jobs being paid by that check and having copies of the receipts for the required purchases should be more than enough for any CPA. Fees of course are taxable and reimbursements are not.

My local credit union has a free, no minimum balance, checking account for members while my $5 'membership fee' is retained in a savings account. I could have a mastercard credit card with the credit union that I could use for shops and pay by transferring money from checking to clear the card. It really couldn't get much cleaner than that for a CPA to see reimbursements coming in to cover those required purchases, though the first and most complete record should be your own business records.
Your deductions do not change based on whether you co mingle funds. A deductible expense is deductible regardless of where it is drawn from when it is spent. You do need clear documentation of expenses and reimbursements however. A CPA worth their salt can make sense of deductions regardless of where the money long as you have proper evidence of amounts, dates, and purposes. Maybe it's a thin paper trail that has your CPA nervous, not the co mingling per se.

That being said, a separate account makes things much, much easier. A CPA worth their salt will probably charge you more to dig through your shoebox than they would if presented with organized receipts and a separate account.

Whether it is a business account or a personal account has to do with your business structure. Are you a sole proprietorship? If you've taken no action to create some other entity like a c-corp or an LLC, then you're probably operating as a sole proprietorship. Even if you've set up an LLC, if it's just you as the only member you're probably a sole proprietor for tax purposes.

Your bank will likely have a lot to say about whether you can use a personal account for your sole proprietorship or not. Some will allow it, many will not. You may find that there are transaction limits on a personal account that become problematic at times. Or you may find your bank unwilling to cash a check made out to your sole proprietorship by name without a small business account for that entity. .

If you are operating as an LLC or c-corp you will be unlikely to get your bank to allow that through a personal account.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2019 08:54AM by JustForFun.
No need at all for a business account. There is also no reason not to use your current account, but if you open a new one, personal is the way to go. Flash is absolutely correct about keeping your own records of how much was fee and how much was reimbursement. Opting out of shops that have reimbursements would be kinda nuts, so if that is actually what your accountant is advising, it may be time to find a new one who specializes in small, sole proprietorship businesses. That is what 99% of MSers have, and you probably do.

Based in MD, near DC
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2019 02:17PM by walesmaven.
Check Doctor of Credit for checking account bonuses. You may find a bank bonus FAR exceeds pay from a shop as long as you can meet the bonus requirements. []

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2019 02:12PM by callinectes.
Pinnacle Financial has account opening shops which pay well, especially when there are bonuses. There are branches in many big box store locations OR you can use their mobile app. You may choose to open a personal or business account ( they have a good deal for small businesses ) BUT you will need the required legal documents regardless of whether you operate as a LLC or sole proprietor.
I like getting paid to evaluate business products-services I would normally use smiling smiley $$$$$$
I opened a personal savings account and use this just for Mystery Shopping, no fees. I have had this for 13 years, works for me. You can transfer your money anytime you want. I have a CPA that takes care of this for me at the end of the year when I turn in my 1099s.
Firstly I think I would get a new CPA. An EIN usually will require paperwork from the state about business license and then the city and/or county for a DBA (Doing Business As) documents. I would go with a personal account at a small local bank. I know that BOA requires a $350.00 a month direct deposit to keep the account free. Look around you can find banks that will pay you to open accounts with them if you meet the rules they have.
Pinnacle also have teller shops, so could get extra money for maintaining that account open

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2019 05:11AM by Gabydiaz.
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