Self Employment Tax in California, California

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In California, California, there are particular taxes that are placed 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 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 clearly how much you owe, to ensure that you don't pay more or less than you are obligated to.

Normally, it's the employer who does all the calculations, determining what deductions need to be made from a worker's paycheck to cover his or her tax liability. But if you are your own boss, you have to do this, and ensure that your figures are accurate.

Self-Employment tax obligations in California, California

If you work as an independent contractor, or operate a sole proprietorship, you are deemed to be "self employed." You are required to pay the self-employment tax if your total income from self-employment exceeds $400 per year.

Individuals who are not self-employed, and work for another person or company, have their contributions to Medicare and Social Security matched by their employers. This means that these programs are acquiring, on your behalf, twice as much money as what's deducted for your paycheck, with your employer covering the other half.

But, self-employed workers in California, 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.

In California, California, self-employed business owners pay a self-employment tax rate of 15.3%. This is, of course, separate from, and additional to, whatever they pay in income tax. In an effort to partially offset this additional tax burden, half of what one pays in self-employment taxes can be deducted from their income when filing their income taxes. This means that the self employed pay income taxes on, at most, 92% of their income. And it's probably less, thanks to all the other deductions they might qualify for. This deduction lowers the effective self-employment tax rate to 14%, rather than the "official" rate of over 15%.

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Can a California, California Tax Attorney Help?

If you are self-employed in California, 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 assist 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.

That said, if you are having trouble figuring out clearly how much self-employment tax you owe in California, 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 obligation, a good tax attorney can give you the best possible chance of getting a favorable result.

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