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Self Employment

What is Self Employment?

Self employment refers to working for one’s self; a self-employed person works for him or herself instead of an employer. A self-employed individual’s income is attained through trade or business that the person operates personally. The business of a self-employed person is personalized; the business is the individual’s primary source of income.

The terms “self-employment” and “business owner”, although universally linked, are by no means identical in meaning. A business owner is not required to be active or hands-on with the daily operations of his or her company, whereas a self-employed individual must utilize an aggressive and hands-on approach to secure income.

The United States Government views self-employment as a form of rudimentary entrepreneurship. Because a self-employed person is extremely active in the day-to-day operations of the business, most entity’s run and operated by a self-employed person are extremely small and niche-based.

In the United States, an individual is considered self-employed (for tax purposes) if that person is actively operating a business as an independent contractor, a sole proprietorship, as a member of a limited liability company (only if it does not elect itself to be treated as a corporation) or as a member partnership. In addition to its tax classification, a self-employed individual must pay Medicare and Social Security taxes, as a result of the Self-Employment Contributions Act.

Guide to Self-Employment and Taxes:

In the United States, the self-employment tax is typically set at a flat-rate equivalent to the combined contributions of the employer and his or her employee under the FICA model. The self-employment tax is currently set at 15.30% (The 2010 Tax Relief Act reduced this figure to 13.3%, but the rate will increase back to 15.3% at the start of 2012); this rate consists of two parts: 12.4% is based on the self-employed individual’s social security responsibility and 2.9% is applied to the Medicare tax.

The social security aspect of the self-employment tax, in a hypothetical fashion, can be deducted by 50% against the individual’s self-employment income. Because of this deduction, only 92.35% of self-employment income is taxed at the 15.3% rate, deriving an effective tax rate of approximately 14.1%. However, this tax deduction will be terminated if the individual’s self-employment income exceeds $105,577 (this figure may change year-to-year, since the whole applicable amount of approximately $97, 5000 will be taxable at the 15.30%.

A self-employed individual will typically declare more deductions than an ordinary worker. Equipment, travel, uniforms, car use, cell-phone use etc., can be deduced as self-employment business expenses. Self-employed persons are required to report their business income (or losses) on IRS Form 1040 within Schedule C. Self-employment taxes are calculated on Schedule SE of IRS Form 1040. Self-employment estimated taxes must be fulfilled quarterly through the use of IRS Form 1040-ES if the individual’s estimated tax liability exceeds $1,000.

A self-employed individual is not permitted to contribute to a tradition business-run 401K plan. That being said, self-employment enables an individual to save for retirement in a variety of forms, including the Simplified Employee Pension Plan IRA (25% of their income can be contributed or approximately $50,000 per year) or the Self-Employed 401k or SE 401k.

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