Self Employment Tax in Costa Mesa, California
In Costa Mesa, California, there are specific taxes that are imposed 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 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 precisely how much you owe, to ensure that you don't pay more or less than you are obliged to.
Typically, 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 Costa Mesa, California
If you work as an independent contractor, or operate a sole proprietorship, you are deemed to be "self employed." You are obliged 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 substantial 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 essentially doubles your contribution to these programs, without doubling their financial burden on you.
But, if you are a self-employed business owner in Costa Mesa, California, you are liable for both the employee and employer contributions to Medicare and Social Security. This basically doubles your self-employment tax rate.
The total self-employment tax (note that this is completely distinct from the income tax) is set at 15.3%, if your income from self-employment in Costa Mesa, California exceeds $400. However, half of this tax is deducted from your income, for income tax purposes. Thus, 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 additional deductions for which you may be eligible. This means that, essentially, the self-employment tax rate is only 14%, as opposed to 15.3%
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Can a Costa Mesa, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Costa Mesa, it's imperative that you keep good records of your income and expenses, because a tax attorney will only be able to advise you to the extent that you help yourself.
If you have any difficulty calculating your self-employment tax liability, an efficient Costa Mesa, California tax attorney would probably have very little trouble helping you figure it out. A knowledgeable lawyer can also give you practical legal advice, which can help you avoid more serious tax law issues in the future, by dealing with them before they become problematic.