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I know I am not the first one to bring this up by any means, but it’s really bugging me. I have done OK this year with my freelancing. It hasn’t been too much work where I am enslaved completely, but enough to help with the bills around the house. Supporting a stay-at-home mom and two kids burns money faster than I could ever imagine. So most of what I have made has been burned away, and nothing has been paid toward taxes. I know it will be a lot, but how much? A headline caught my eye (Extremely Important Tax Rules for Designers in the United States, at In The Woods [an rss I watch]) and basically kicked me in the butt to look into this before I am sitting down filling out my 1040.
With the year winding down, I am thinking about my tax return for this year and how my added freelance-earned money may effect it. Well as I have read into it, it will effect it a lot! One helpful article I found on the matter is, Taxes and Freelancing at About.com. This article coverd much of the basics and has some good pointers on getting organized and what information you will want for filling out Schedule C on your tax return. The article supplied better information the the In The Woods one.
So, sure that is a bit of a pain, a lot more to organize and keep track of, but one of the biggest part of the pain is Self-Employment Tax. What is Self-Employment tax, well in a nutshell its the Social Security and Medicare taxes you pay on any net profits you have.
The Self-Employment tax is 15.3% — Social Security Tax is 6.2% and Medicare Tax is 1.45%. Wait you say, that only comes to 7.65%, and you are correct, though since you are self employed, you must pay the employee and employer portion of the tax. 7.65% times two is 15.3%. For those of you who are a bit curious yes, if you are a W2 employee you pay 7.65% in Social Security and Medicare taxes. Please note, in 2009 Social Security tax is only paid on the first $102,000 subject to Social Security tax. I am sure this will play into your Self-Employment tax number too, though I don’t know for sure. I can speak more to this once I go through it next February and if I make it over that amount
Please realize, I am not a tax accountant or CPA nor do I play one on TV. The information written here is solely based on my readings and limited experience. Consume it at your own risk.