Self Employment Tax in Alameda County, California
In Alameda County, California, there are certain taxes that are enforced on employees, which are deducted from their paychecks. The mostly well-known employment taxes are the Medicare and Social Security tax, for which a small percentage of every employee's paycheck is deducted.
It's critical to note that if you are self-employed, you're still liable for those taxes, and it's your responsibility to figure out what you owe.
In most cases, employers make all the necessary calculations to determine how much needs to be deducted from an employee's check to pay these taxes. It's usually very simple, and any decent payroll software can automate this process. But the self-employed are responsible for figuring this out for themselves, or hiring an accountant to do it.
Self-Employment tax obligations in Alameda County, California
If you mainly work as an independent contractor, or are the owner of a sole proprietorship, you have to pay what's usually referred to as the "self-employment tax," if your annual income from self-employment is over $400.
Workers who are employed by someone else enjoy at least one perk that the self-employed do not: their employer matches their Social Security and Medicare contributions, effectively doubling the amount of money that's contributed to these funds on the employee's behalf.
But, if you are self-employed in Alameda County, California, you are liable to pay both the employee and employer share of the employment tax. Effectively, this means that the employment tax for self-employed individuals is double what it would be for regular employees.
The self-employment tax rate is 15.3% of all self-employment income, assuming your income from self-employment exceeds $400 per year in Alameda County, California. But half of your self-employment tax liability can be deducted from your income tax. This results in a slightly reduced income tax bill, which partially offsets this additional tax burden. It essentially means that the self-employment tax only applies to 92% of your income, as opposed to all of it. This means that your effective self-employment tax rate is about 14%, as opposed to over 15%.
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Can a Alameda County, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Alameda County, it's extremely important for you to be diligent in keeping records of your income and expenses, to ensure that you pay all the self-employment taxes that you owe (and also to make sure you don't over-pay). You may one day need a tax attorney to help you with a legal issue, and they can help you far more efficiently if you are able to quickly present them with all the relevant information.
If you have any difficulty calculating your self-employment tax liability, an experienced Alameda County, California tax attorney would likely have very little trouble assisting you figure it out. A reputable lawyer can also give you practical legal advice, which can help you avoid more significant tax law issues in the future, by dealing with them before they become problematic.