Self Employment Tax

Self Employment Tax

Self Employment and Taxes
Self-employment tax is a tax consisting of Social Security and Medicare taxes primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the earning of most wage earners. You can compute self-employment tax (SE tax) yourself using Schedule SE (Form 1040). Social Security and Medicare taxes of most wage earners are figured by their employers. Also you can deduct the employer-equivalent portion your SE tax in figuring your adjusted gross income. Wage earners cannot deduct Social Security and Medicare taxes.

The 2010 Tax Relief Act reduced the self-employment tax by 2% for self-employment income earned in calendar year 2011. The self-employment tax rate for self-employment income earned in calendar year 2011 is 13.3% (10.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare). The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 extended the self-employment tax reduction of 2% for calendar year 2012 so the rates for 2011 remain in effect for 2012. For self-employment income earned in 2010,Self Employment Tax Articles the self-employment tax rate is 15.3%. The rate consists of two parts: 12.4% for social security (old-age, survivors, and disability insurance) and 2.9% for Medicare. For both 2010 and 2011, the first $106,800 of your combined wages, tips, and net earnings are subject to any combination of the Social Security part of self-employment tax, Social Security tax, or railroad retirement (tier 1) tax. Income you make after $106,800 will not be subject to the Social Security tax.

All your combined self-employment wages, tips, and net earnings in the current year are subject to any combination of the 2.9% Medicare part of Self-Employment tax, Social Security tax, or railroad retirement (tier 1) tax.

If your wages and tips are subject to either Social Security or railroad retirement (tier 1) tax, or both, and total at least $106,800, do not pay the Social Security part of the self-employment tax on any of your net earnings. However, you must pay the 2.9% Medicare part of the self-employment tax on all your net earnings. A deduction, for income tax purposes, is allowed to self-employed individuals for the cost of health insurance. This deduction is taken into account in calculating net earnings from self-employment. You must pay self-employment tax and file Schedule SE (Form 1040) if either of the following applies:

Your net earnings from self-employment (excluding church employee income) were $400 or more.
You had church employee income of $108.28 or more.
Generally, your net earnings from self-employment are subject to self-employment tax. If you are self-employed as a sole proprietor or independent contractor, you generally use Schedule C or C-EZ to figure net earnings from self-employment.

If you have earnings subject to self-employment tax, use Schedule SE to figure your net earnings from self-employment. Before you figure your net earnings, you generally need to figure your total earnings subject to self-employment tax.

Special rules apply to workers who perform in-home services for elderly or disabled individuals (caregivers). Caregivers are typically employees of the individuals for whom they provide services because they work in the homes of the elderly or disabled individuals and these individuals have the right to tell the caregivers what needs to be done.