Self Employment Tax in Cook County, Illinois
In Cook County, Illinois, 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.
But what if you're self-employed? You're still required to pay these taxes, since you will also be qualified for those retirement programs. It's also your responsibility to determine what your tax liability is.
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 Cook County, Illinois
If you own a sole-proprietorship, or work mainly as an independent contractor, you need to pay the "self-employment tax" if you derive any significant amount of income from self-employment. You must pay these taxes if your income from self-employment is more than $400 annually.
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, if you are a self-employed business owner in Cook County, Illinois, you are responsible for both the employee and employer contributions to Medicare and Social Security. This essentially doubles your self-employment tax rate.
The self-employment tax rate is 15.3% of all self-employment income, assuming your income from self-employment exceeds $400 per year in Cook County, Illinois. 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 Cook County, Illinois Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Cook County, 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 Cook County, Illinois 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.