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Tax Guy: What the IRS doesn’t tell you about self-employment taxes

Do you owe the dreaded 15.3% self-employment (SE) tax on random non-employee income that you only collect occasionally or in a one-off circumstance? Good question. This column explains why you probably don’t owe SE tax, after first covering some necessary background information. Here goes.

The dreaded self-employment tax

The SE tax is the way the Feds collect Social Security and Medicare taxes on non-salary income from work-related activities. For 2019, the SE tax rate is 15.3% on the first $132,900 of net SE income. That 15.3% rate is comprised of:

* 12.4% for the Social Security tax component of the SE tax plus

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