Self Employment Tax in Contra Costa County, California

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In Contra Costa County, 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 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 confirm that you don't pay more or less than you are obligated to.

Normally, 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 Contra Costa County, 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.

Employees in a regular employer/employee relationship do enjoy one considerable 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 basically doubles your contribution to these programs, without doubling their financial burden on you.

However, if you are a self-employed business owner in Contra Costa County, California, you are accountable 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 Contra Costa County, 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 Contra Costa County, California Tax Attorney Help?

If you are self-employed in Contra Costa County, it's necessary that you keep good records of your income and expenses, because a tax attorney will only be able to assist you to the extent that you help yourself.

If you have any difficulty calculating your self-employment tax liability, an accomplished Contra Costa County, California tax attorney would likely have very little trouble assisting you figure it out. A seasoned 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.

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