Small business tax help website

Self Employment Tax

When do I have to pay self employment tax?

If you are self employed, you are subject to self employment tax on your earnings. You must file a Form 1040 Schedule SE, Self Employment Tax, with your tax form 1040 if:

  • your net earnings from self employment (excluding church employee income) were $400 or more, or

  • you had church employee income of $108.28 or more.

Self Employment Tax

The self employment tax you owe is not paid directly to the government. Instead it is handled as part of your income tax.

What are the self employment tax forms?

If you have to pay self employment tax, you must file a Form 1040 (with Schedule SE attached) even if you do not otherwise have to file a federal income tax return. You figure your self employment tax using Schedule SE.

Self Employment Tax forms

What is self employment tax?

The self employment tax is similar to the social security tax and Medicare tax withheld from an employee's wages. The tax covers both employer and employee contributions. The self employment tax rules apply no matter how old you are and even if you are already receiving social security or Medicare benefits.