Self Employment Tax in Alameda, California
In Alameda, 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 essential to note that if you are self-employed, you're still responsible for those taxes, and it's your responsibility to figure out what you owe.
In most cases, employers make all the necessary calculations to determine how much needs to be deducted from an employee's check to pay these taxes. It's typically very simple, and any decent payroll software can automate this process. But the self-employed are liable for figuring this out for themselves, or hiring an accountant to do it.
Self-Employment tax obligations in Alameda, California
If you mainly work as an independent contractor, or are the owner of a sole proprietorship, you have to pay what's regularly referred to as the "self-employment tax," if your annual income from self-employment is over $400.
Workers who are employed by someone else enjoy at least one perk that the self-employed do not: their employer matches their Social Security and Medicare contributions, essentially doubling the amount of money that's contributed to these funds on the employee's behalf.
But, if you are self-employed in Alameda, 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 self-employment tax rate is 15.3% of all self-employment income, assuming your income from self-employment exceeds $400 per year in Alameda, California. 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 Alameda, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Alameda, 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 advise you with a legal issue, and they can help you far more efficiently if you are able to quickly present them with all the relevant information.
That said, if you are encountering trouble figuring out precisely how much self-employment tax you owe in Alameda, California, a competent tax attorney shouldn't have any trouble helping you on that front. Likewise, if you end up in a dispute with the government over your self-employment tax requirement, a good tax attorney can give you the best possible chance of getting a favorable result.