Self Employment Tax in Downey, California
In Downey, California, there are certain taxes that are imposed 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 extremely important to know that, if you are self-employed, you still have to pay those taxes, and it's also up to you to figure out exactly how much you owe, to ensure that you don't pay more or less than you are required to.
Usually, it's the employer who does all the calculations, determining what deductions need to be made from a worker's paycheck to cover his or her tax liability. But if you are your own boss, you have to do this, and ensure that your figures are accurate.
Self-Employment tax obligations in Downey, California
If you primarily work as an independent contractor, or are the owner of a sole proprietorship, you have to pay what's commonly referred to as the "self-employment tax," if your annual income from self-employment is over $400.
For ordinary employees, Social Security and Medicare payments are made in equal parts by the employee and employer. This effectively means that every employee's contribution to his or her future Medicare and Social Security benefits is matched by the employer.
However, the self-employed in Downey, California are responsible for making the employer AND employee contributions to those programs, effectively doubling what they would have to pay if they were employed by someone else.
The total self-employment tax (note that this is completely distinct from the income tax) is set at 15.3%, if your income from self-employment in Downey, California exceeds $400. However, half of this tax is deducted from your income, for income tax purposes. So, this means that, at most, the self-employed only have to pay income on 92% of their total income, and that amount may be lowered with additional deductions for which you may be eligible. This means that, effectively, the self-employment tax rate is only 14%, as opposed to 15.3%
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Can a Downey, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Downey, it's essential that you keep good records of your income and expenses, because a tax attorney will only be able to help you to the extent that you help yourself.
If you have any difficulty calculating your self-employment tax liability, an experienced Downey, California tax attorney would probably have very little trouble helping you figure it out. A good lawyer can also give you practical legal advice, which can help you avoid more serious tax law issues in the future, by dealing with them before they become problematic.