bSolo Helps Independent Workers Tackle the Extra Jobs of a Soloist Career

bSolo launched today to help a rapidly growing, but underserved segment
of the population – independent workers or “soloists” – tackle the many
“jobs” that come with pursuing an independent career. Many of the 57
million soloists today1 have chosen to work outside of the
traditional workforce in favor of working for themselves because of the
freedom and independence it affords. However, many of these soloists
don’t realize that while going it alone has many advantages, it can have
some downsides — including lack of dedicated workspace, benefits,
accounting and a human resources department. These trade-offs create a
list of unintended jobs independent workers must take on — it is
bSolo’s goal to help alleviate some of these responsibilities. One of
the jobs that creates the most friction in soloists’ lives is having to
pay quarterly taxes. To help reduce that friction, bSolo designed a
smart tax assistant that helps self-employed workers set aside money for
quarterly taxes whenever they get paid. At customers’ direction, bSolo
also enables direct payment of federal and state tax payments on their
behalf.

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bSolo on phone (Photo: Business Wire)

“We created bSolo because the independent workforce is growing at a rate
currently outpacing the support systems available today,” said Duke
Chang, co-founder and head of bSolo. “In a traditional workplace, most
benefits are administered through payroll – a system that soloists can’t
access. bSolo’s smart tax assistant is our first step toward creating a
structure for soloists that can later become a platform for accessing
some of these benefits. bSolo is in a position to make a difference in
soloists’ lives.”

The Soloist Savings GapOn
average, full-time independent workers earn $69,100 per year,2
and the U.S. Treasury reports that only 15 percent of independent
workers who earned between $65,000 and $110,000 in 2014 made a
retirement savings contribution that year, compared to 55 percent of the
traditionally employed workforce.3 To better understand this
savings gap, bSolo surveyed 1,000 freelancers nationwide and personally
interviewed another 107 soloists.4 From this research, bSolo
identified the following top challenges of a soloist career:

Top Challenges of a Soloist Career:

These identified challenges point out a significant obstacle to saving
for the long term: a deep feeling of financial insecurity. Self-employed
workers have complex financial lives. They are not supported by many of
the defaults a traditionally-employed worker may take for granted – such
as automated tax withholding and retirement contributions deducted from
a paycheck or employer-sponsored medical leave. Fluctuating income
streams, combined with ill-timed quarterly tax payments, compound this
financial insecurity and can hold soloists back from saving for
long-term and short-term needs. bSolo created its smart tax assistant to
help self-employed people set aside money for quarterly taxes,
instilling a sense of control and an understanding of their cash flow so
that long-term savings can become reality. Not only does bSolo provide
soloists the control they desire, it also enables the payment of both
federal5 and state tax payments on their behalf.

Show Us Your #TaxFacebSolo is
asking soloists to join in its “Show Us Your #TaxFace” campaign by
sharing a story, photo or video on Facebook,
Instagram
and Twitter
that best expresses how they feel about managing taxes as an independent
worker. In bSolo’s early conversations we heard:

bSolo’s public beta and phased rollout begins today. bSolo currently
supports federal tax payments in all states, and state tax payments in
28 out of the 41 states requiring quarterly estimated payments. To learn
more about bSolo and its smart tax assistant, visit www.bsolo.com. To
share your #TaxFace story, photo or video, join us at:

@b_solo

@wearebsolo

@bsolo

About bSolobSolo’s mission is
to inspire and empower the independent spirit. Our work combines the
ingenuity of independent workers with industry-leading financial
expertise. With smart services that filter out the chores of
self-employment, we’re helping people spend more time on the work that
matters and the better things in life. https://bsolo.com/

About Fidelity LabsbSolo was
created in Fidelity Labs, the new business incubator at Fidelity
Investments. Fidelity Labs rapidly develops new products and businesses
to improve the financial wellbeing of Fidelity’s current and future
customers. Our small, cross-functional teams include people from
startups, agencies, and industry-leading corporations. Together, they
identify emerging market opportunities and use human-centered design and
agile methodologies to create solutions designed to have impact at
scale. http://fidelitylabs.com

bSolo does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material
and website has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is
not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or
accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting
advisors before engaging in any transaction. Our banking parties,
SynapseFi and Evolve Bank and Trust, Member FDIC, provide services such
as deposit accounts, money movement, and bank linking.

eR 851431.1.0

1 Freelancing in America Study, Upwork and Freelancers Union,
20172 MBO Partners, “The State of Independence in
America,” 20183 Department of the Treasury Office of
Tax Analysis Working Paper, “The Rise of Alternative Work Arrangements:
Evidence and Implications for Tax Filing and Benefit Coverage,” January
2017.4 The bSolo Study of the Independent Workforce
incorporates a wide range of research methods. First, bSolo conducted a
nationwide survey of 1,000 independent workers between November and
December 2016. This included a TURF analysis to determine optimal
feature combinations. In January 2017, bSolo began a design thinking
approach of testing, learning, and iterating with potential customers.
Over the next year, the bSolo team personally conducted 18 user-testing
events and well over 100 hours of in-person testing of concepts,
mockups, prototypes, language, brand assets and user experience to
arrive at the first release of the bSolo smart tax assistant.5
Residents in some states may only be able to pay Federal taxes initially
using bSolo. See full user and state requirements at bsolo.com.

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