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14139: Self-Employed Persons


1040 Individual Generally

Who is considered a self-employed person and are they required to file a 1040 return?

Who is considered self-employed?

You are self-employed if you:

  • Carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor,
  • Are an independent contractor,
  • Are a member of a partnership, or
  • Are in business for yourself in any other way.
What would be considered self-employment?

Generally, you are self-employed if any of the following apply to you.

  • You carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor.
  • You are a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business.
  • You are otherwise in business for yourself (including a part-time business)

Who is required to file a 1040?

You must file a 1040 return if your gross income is at least as much as the filing requirement amount for your filing status and age (See Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers in Related Links below). Also, you must file Form 1040 and Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax, if:

  1. Your net earnings from self-employment (excluding church employee income) were $400 or more, or
  2. You had church employee income of $108.28 or more.

Use Schedule SE (Form 1040) to figure your self-employment tax. Self-employment tax is comparable to the social security and Medicare tax withheld from an employee's wages. For more information about this tax, see Pub. 334, Tax Guide for Small Business.

For more information about self-employed persons, see Publication 17 or the Schedule C instructions.


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