Self Employment Tax in San Diego County, California
In San Diego County, California, there are specific taxes that are imposed 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 ensure that you don't pay more or less than you are obliged to.
Typically, 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 oversee 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 San Diego County, California
If you are an independent contractor, or run a sole proprietorship (a company which you own, and which is not incorporated as a separate legal entity), you must pay the so-called "self-employment tax" if your income from self-employment is higher than $400 per year.
Employees in a regular employer/employee relationship do enjoy one substantial 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 essentially doubles your contribution to these programs, without doubling their financial burden on you.
However, if you are self-employed in San Diego County, California, you are responsible to pay both the employee and employer share of the employment tax. Essentially, this means that the employment tax for self-employed individuals is double what it would be for regular employees.
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 San Diego County, California exceeds $400. However, 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 additional 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 San Diego County, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you're self-employed in San Diego County, 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 easier for a tax attorney to give you good, useful advice, should you eventually need it.
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 San Diego County, 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.