Getting help with your self-employment taxes may be easier than you think. Depending on how much you are earning, you may qualify for assistance from an IRS-sponsored volunteer through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. You can find information about the program on the IRS Website.
One of the stipulations about availing yourself of the services of VITA is that you need to have made under $53,000 for fiscal year 2009. If you've earned more, you might still be able to get help in filing your taxes; just search a bit further on the IRS site and also by running a search on the Internet using the key words "self employment tax."
The self employment tax rate in the U.S. is 15.3 percent up to annual earnings of $106,800. Of that 15.3 percent, Social Security gets 12.4 percent and Medicare the remainder. The IRS describes a self employed person thusly: You are self-employed ... if you are a sole proprietor, an independent contractor, a partner in a partnership, a member of a single-member LLC or are otherwise in business for yourself. You usually must pay self-employment tax if you had net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more. Generally, the amount subject to self-employment taxes is 92.35% of your net earnings from self-employment. Net earnings are calculated by subtracting ordinary and necessary trade or business expenses from the gross income you derived from your trade or business. You can be liable for paying self-employment tax even if you are currently receiving social security benefits.
It appears that Uncle Sam is always ready to take a handout. Which must account for the fact that he was so amenable to the banking and insurance industries and auto-makers approaching him with their begging bowls extended.
Until the institution of personal income tax in 1914 people in the U.S. were under no obligation to reveal their personal financial dealings to any agency or person. This allowed for mega-fortunes to be made and squandered without any part of those fortunes going to sustain government, keep roads in good repair, alleviate the sufferings of the indigent or handicapped or orphaned. A huge change of attitude was required to get men who had previously thought of their personal earnings as rightful bounty from Divine Providence to give up a portion of it to the federal government and to become accountable for revealing sources of income, as well.