Self Employment Tax in Sebastopol, California
In Sebastopol, California, there are certain taxes that are placed 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 makes all these calculations, and the employee doesn't have to think about it. Most larger employers have payroll departments to handle these matters, making it pretty simple for them. But, if you are self-employed, it's up to you to accurately determine what you have to pay in self-employment taxes
Self-Employment tax obligations in Sebastopol, California
If you are an independent contractor, or run a sole proprietorship (a company which you own, and which is not incorporated as a separate legal entity), you must pay the so-called "self-employment tax" if your income from self-employment is greater than $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 Sebastopol, 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 Sebastopol, 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 Sebastopol, California Tax Attorney Help?
If you are self-employed in Sebastopol, 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.
If you have any difficulty calculating your self-employment tax liability, an experienced Sebastopol, California tax attorney would probably have very little trouble helping you figure it out. A good lawyer can also give you practical legal advice, which can help you avoid more severe tax law issues in the future, by dealing with them before they become problematic.