Self Employment Tax in Fort Bragg, California
In Fort Bragg, 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 Fort Bragg, California
If you primarily work as an independent contractor, or are the owner of a sole proprietorship, you have to pay what's typically referred to as the "self-employment tax," if your annual income from self-employment is over $400.
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 self-employed in Fort Bragg, California, you are accountable to pay both the employee and employer share of the employment tax. Basically, this means that the employment tax for self-employed individuals is double what it would be for regular employees.
The self-employment tax rate is 15.3% of all self-employment income, assuming your income from self-employment exceeds $400 per year in Fort Bragg, California. But half of your self-employment tax liability can be deducted from your income tax. This results in a slightly lower 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 Fort Bragg, California Tax Attorney Help?
Self-employed individuals in Fort Bragg must ensure that they keep good, complete financial records. This makes it much easier to determine what you owe, and, if you need a tax attorney, it makes it easier for them to assist you with your legal tax contentions.
That said, if you are having trouble figuring out clearly how much self-employment tax you owe in Fort Bragg, 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.