Who is Self-Employed?
If you are in business for yourself, or carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor, you generally would consider yourself self-employed and you would file Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ with your Form 1040. Not sure if you are self-employed or an employee? Refer to Independent Contractors vs. Employees.
If you are self-employed you must pay Self-Employment Tax
Self-employment tax (SE tax) is a social security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the social security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners.
If you are self-employed you must pay Estimated Taxes
This applies even if you also have a full-time or part-time job and your employer withholds taxes from your wages. Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. If you don’t make quarterly payments you can be penalized for underpayment at the end of the tax year.
Filing and Paying Your Taxes Electronically
e-file for Business and Self-Employed Taxpayers
EFTPS: The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System
EFTPS is a tax payment system provided free by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Pay federal taxes electronically via the Internet or phone 24/7.
Considering a Tax Professional
Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer
Essential Forms and Publications
Schedule C (PDF) and Instructions (PDF)
Use Schedule C (Form 1040) to report income or loss from a business you operated or a profession you practiced as a sole proprietor.
Schedule C - EZ (PDF)
Small businesses and statutory employees with expenses of $5,000 or less may be able to file Schedule C-EZ instead of Schedule C.
Publication 334 (2007), Tax Guide for Small Business (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ)
Publications and Forms for the Self-Employed
A collection of forms and publications related to understanding and fulfilling your filing requirements.
Business and Employment Taxes - If you have Employees
If you own a business you must pay Business Taxes
Your form of business determines which income tax return form you have to file. The most common forms of business are the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and S corporation.
As an employer you must withhold Employment Taxes from your employees' pay
If you have employees, you are responsible for federal, state and local taxes. As an employer, you must withhold certain taxes from your employees' wages.
Business Structure Changes
If you already have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), you may need to get a new one if either the organization or ownership of your business changes.
Business Name Changes
Explanation to Businesses on what actions are necessary to make a name change.
Sale of a Business
The buyer's consideration is the cost of the assets acquired. The seller's consideration is the amount realized (money plus the fair market value of property received) from the sale of assets.
IRS Educational Materials and Assistance
Small Business Tax Workshops are designed to help the small business owner understand and fulfill their Federal Tax responsibilities. Workshops are sponsored and presented by IRS partners who are Federal Tax specialists. The workshop is also available on a DVD .
The Small Business Video and Audio Presentations page contains presentations designed to help new and existing small business owners understand and meet their federal tax obligations.
Small Business Products Online Ordering
Our free products, developed especially for the Small Business/Self-Employed person will help you meet your tax requirements.
Taxpayer Advocate Service
The Taxpayer Advocate, an independent organization within the IRS, helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS.
If You Are A New Business
Starting a Business
If you are just starting your business please see our Starting a Business page for important information such as a checklist for starting a business, selecting a business structure, recordkeeping requirements, and selecting an accounting method.
Operating a Business
Learn about the various responsibilities associated with operating your own business.
Recordkeeping is a vital part of operating a business. See the Recordkeeping page for details.
The advantages of a retirement plan are numerous. There are economic, business and tax advantages for your business, for your employees and for you. A retirement plan may give you an important competitive edge in attracting and keeping the best employees - and help you plan for your own retirement years. The retirement plans videos are also a great resource for choosing, operating and maintaining your retirement plan.
Rate the Small Business and Self-Employed Web Site