Self Employment Tax in Cerritos, California
In Cerritos, California, there are certain taxes that are levied 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.
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 exactly how much you owe, to confirm that you don't pay more or less than you are required to.
Usually, it's the employer who does all the calculations, deciding 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 confirm that your figures are accurate.
Self-Employment tax obligations in Cerritos, California
If you work as an independent contractor, or operate a sole proprietorship, you are deemed to be "self employed." You are obligated to pay the self-employment tax if your total income from self-employment exceeds $400 per year.
Employees in a regular employer/employee relationship do enjoy one significant 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 effectively doubles your contribution to these programs, without doubling their financial burden on you.
However, self-employed workers in Cerritos, California must make both the employee and employer contributions. So, this means that the Medicare and Social Security tax liabilities apply doubly to the self-employed.
The total self-employment tax (note that this is totally distinct from the income tax) is set at 15.3%, if your income from self-employment in Cerritos, California exceeds $400. But, half of this tax is deducted from your income, for income tax purposes. So, 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 further deductions for which you may be eligible. This means that, effectively, the self-employment tax rate is only 14%, as opposed to 15.3%
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Can a Cerritos, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you're self-employed in Cerritos, you need to keep thorough 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 simpler for a tax attorney to give you good, useful advice, should you eventually need it.
That said, if you are encountering trouble figuring out exactly how much self-employment tax you owe in Cerritos, 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.