Self Employment Tax in Palo Alto, California
In Palo Alto, 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 makes all these calculations, and the employee doesn't have to think about it. Most larger employers have payroll departments to handle these matters, making it pretty simple for them. But, if you are self-employed, it's up to you to accurately determine what you have to pay in self-employment taxes
Self-Employment tax obligations in Palo Alto, California
If you work as an independent contractor, or operate a sole proprietorship, you are deemed to be "self employed." You are obligated to pay the self-employment tax if your total income from self-employment exceeds $400 per year.
Employees in a regular employer/employee relationship do enjoy one significant perk that the self-employed do not: their Social Security and Medicare contributions are matched by their employers. So, if you pay $100 in Social Security and Medicare taxes with every paycheck, your employer has to match that. This effectively doubles your contribution to these programs, without doubling their financial burden on you.
But, if you are a self-employed business owner in Palo Alto, California, you are responsible for both the employee and employer contributions to Medicare and Social Security. This basically doubles your self-employment tax rate.
Currently, the self-employment tax rate in the United States is 15.30% of all income earned from self-employment in Palo Alto, California. However, half of your hypothetical self-employment tax liability can be deducted from your income. This means that you only pay self-employment tax on about 92% of your income, which creates an effective self-employment tax rate of just over 14%.
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Can a Palo Alto, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Palo Alto, 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 effectively if you are able to quickly provide them with all the relevant information.
With all that said, if you are having difficulty determining just how much money you owe in Medicare and Social Security taxes from self-employment in Palo Alto, 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 serious legal issue over your self-employment tax liability, a tax attorney may prove to be invaluable.