Self Employment Tax in Cotati, California
In Cotati, California, there are certain taxes that are imposed 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 ensure that you don't pay more or less than you are required to.
Usually, 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 Cotati, 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.
But, if you are a self-employed business owner in Cotati, California, you are responsible 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 Cotati, California exceeds $400. However, 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 additional 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 Cotati, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Cotati, it's essential that you keep good records of your income and expenses, because a tax attorney will only be able to help you to the extent that you help yourself.
Anyone having difficulty with figuring out what they owe in self-employment taxes in Cotati, California should seek the advice of a good tax attorney. Most tax attorneys also have a good knowledge of accounting, so making this determination probably won't be too hard for them. And on top of that, a competent tax attorney can give you objective and useful legal advice, which can help prevent more serious issues from arising in the future.