People who are self-employed must pay the full amount of their Medicare and Social Security contributions. Half the cost is covered by traditional employers. There are some benefits to claiming self-employment on your taxes, however. Certain deductions are available to self-employed workers -- things like partial rent for an office, phone and Internet payments. To file as self-employed, you must receive 1099 forms from your clients.
Write a letter or email to each client who pays you money asking that they submit a 1099-MISC form to you by January 31 if it has not already been discussed.
Download the Schedule C and 1040 forms (see Resources). Both forms are also available in the lobby of your local post office.
Fill in your biographical information on Schedule C, including your name, address and place of residence. In Part 1, fill out your income. Obtain this information directly from your 1099 forms. Calculate your expenses in Part 2. Take deductions where you're eligible.
Read the Instructions for Schedule C to understand your deductions (see Resources). They vary depending on the type of work you do and may include things like rent, gas or vehicle payments. Finish the form by giving vehicle information, calculating the cost of any goods you sold and listing other expenses.
Fill out the 1040 form using the information from the Schedule C to fill in the proper amounts. Do not fill out wages, salaries and tips on Line 7 if you have no other wages. Fill out your total business income on Line 12, as calculated on your Schedule C. Fill out the rest of the form as you would if you were filing without being self-employed.
Sign the forms. Return to the proper IRS processing facility, along with any payments you have due (see Resources).
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