Self Employment Tax in Atherton, California
In Atherton, California, there are particular taxes that are enforced on employees, which are deducted from their paychecks. The generally 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 critical to note that if you are self-employed, you're still accountable 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 normally very simple, and any decent payroll software can automate this process. But the self-employed are accountable for figuring this out for themselves, or hiring an accountant to do it.
Self-Employment tax obligations in Atherton, California
If you mainly work as an independent contractor, or are the owner of a sole proprietorship, you have to pay what's usually 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, basically doubling the amount of money that's contributed to these funds on the employee's behalf.
However, self-employed workers in Atherton, California must make both the employee and employer contributions. Therefore, this means that the Medicare and Social Security tax liabilities apply doubly to the self-employed.
Self-employed workers in Atherton, California pay a self-employment tax rate of 15.3% of their income that's derived from self-employment. But, half of whatever they end up paying in self-employment tax is deductible from income tax. This basically creates a tax deduction of nearly 8% of one's income, requiring you to only pay taxes on 92% of what you earn. Further tax deductions may lower that number further. When this deduction is taken into account, the self-employment tax rate is effectively 14%, as opposed to over 15%.
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Can a Atherton, California Tax Attorney Help?
Self-employed individuals in Atherton must ensure that they keep good, complete financial records. This makes it much easier to determine what you owe, and, if you need a tax attorney, it makes it easier for them to assist you with your legal tax contentions.
That said, if you are encountering trouble figuring out clearly how much self-employment tax you owe in Atherton, 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.