Self Employment Tax in Los Altos, California

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In Los Altos, California, there are specific taxes that are levied on employees, which are deducted from their paychecks. The typically 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 precisely how much you owe, to confirm that you don't pay more or less than you are obliged to.

Typically, it's the employer who does all the calculations, deciding 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 confirm that your figures are accurate.

Self-Employment tax obligations in Los Altos, California

If you derive even a small percentage of your income from running your own business, or working as an independent contractor, you have to pay the "self-employment tax." This tax applies to everybody who makes more than $400 per year from self-employment.

Persons who are not self-employed, and work for another person or company, have their contributions to Medicare and Social Security matched by their employers. This means that these programs are receiving, on your behalf, twice as much money as what's deducted for your paycheck, with your employer covering the other half.

However, self-employed workers in Los Altos, California must make both the employee and employer contributions. Thus, this means that the Medicare and Social Security tax liabilities apply doubly to the self-employed.

The total self-employment tax (note that this is totally distinct from the income tax) is set at 15.3%, if your income from self-employment in Los Altos, California exceeds $400. But, half of this tax is deducted from your income, for income tax purposes. Thus, 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 further deductions for which you may be eligible. This means that, essentially, the self-employment tax rate is only 14%, as opposed to 15.3%

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Can a Los Altos, California Tax Attorney Help?

If you're self-employed in Los Altos, you need to keep accurate records of all your income and expenses from the operation of your business. This will make it much easier for you to calculate your taxes when they come due, and it will make it simpler for a tax attorney to give you good, useful advice, should you eventually need it.

With all that said, if you are having difficulty deciding just how much money you owe in Medicare and Social Security taxes from self-employment in Los Altos, California, and keep good financial records, it should be relatively easy for a decent tax attorney to help you. And, if you end up facing a more significant legal issue over your self-employment tax liability, a tax attorney may prove to be invaluable.

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