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previous pagePrevious Page: Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax - 2008 Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040)
next pageNext Page: Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax - Specific Instructions
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.
taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP4bd1d9a1

General Instructions(p1)


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taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP37eb249d

Who Must File Schedule SE(p1)


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You must file Schedule SE if:
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Who Must Pay Self-Employment (SE) Tax?(p1)


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Self-Employed Persons(p1)


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You must pay SE tax if you had net earnings of $400 or more as a self-employed person. If you are in business (farm or nonfarm) for yourself, you are self-employed.
You must also pay SE tax on your share of certain partnership income and your guaranteed payments. See Partnership Income or Loss on page SE-3.
taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP5ac062e1

Employees of Churches and Church Organizations(p1)


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If you had church employee income of $108.28 or more, you must pay SE tax. Church employee income is wages you received as an employee (other than as a minister or member of a religious order) of a church or qualified church-controlled organization that has a certificate in effect electing an exemption from employer social security and Medicare taxes.
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Ministers and Members of Religious Orders(p1)


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In most cases, you must pay SE tax on salaries and other income for services you performed as a minister, a member of a religious order who has not taken a vow of poverty, or a Christian Science practitioner. But if you filed Form 4361 and received IRS approval, you will be exempt from paying SE tax on those net earnings. If you had no other income subject to SE tax, enter Exempt—Form 4361 on Form 1040, line 57. However, if you had other earnings of $400 or more subject to SE tax, see line A at the top of Long Schedule SE.
caution
If you have ever filed Form 2031 to elect social security coverage on your earnings as a minister, you cannot revoke that election.
If you must pay SE tax, include this income on either Short or Long Schedule SE, line 2. But do not report it on Long Schedule SE, line 5a; it is not considered church employee income. Also, include on line 2:
However, do not include on line 2:
If you were a duly ordained minister who was an employee of a church and you must pay SE tax, the unreimbursed business expenses that you incurred as a church employee are allowed only as an itemized deduction for income tax purposes. However, when figuring SE tax, subtract the allowable expenses from your self-employ- ment earnings and attach an explanation.
If you were a U.S. citizen or resident alien serving outside the United States as a minister or member of a religious order and you must pay SE tax, you cannot reduce your net earnings by the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign housing exclusion or deduction.
See Pub. 517 for details.
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Members of Certain Religious Sects(p1)


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If you have conscientious objections to social security insurance because of your membership in and belief in the teachings of a religious sect recognized as being in existence at all times since December 31, 1950, and which has provided a reasonable level of living for its dependent members, you are exempt from SE tax if you received IRS approval by filing Form 4029. In this case, do not file Schedule SE. Instead, enter Exempt—Form 4029 on Form 1040, line 57. See Pub. 517 for details.
taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP6d274d67

U.S. Citizens Employed by Foreign Governments or International Organizations(p1)


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You must pay SE tax on income you earned as a U.S. citizen employed by a foreign government (or, in certain cases, by a wholly owned instrumentality of a foreign government or an international organization under the International Organizations Immunities Act) for services performed in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Report income from this employment on either Short or Long Schedule SE, line 2. If you performed services elsewhere as an employee of a foreign government or an international organization, those earnings are exempt from SE tax.
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Exception—Dual citizens.(p1)

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A person with dual U.S.-foreign citizenship is generally considered to be a U.S. citizen for social security purposes. However, if you are a U.S. citizen and also a citizen of a country with which the United States has a bilateral social security agreement, other than Canada or Italy, your work for the government of that foreign country is always exempt from U.S. social security taxes. For further information about these agreements, see the exception shown in the next section.
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U.S. Citizens or Resident Aliens Living Outside the United States(p2)


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If you are a self-employed U.S. citizen or resident alien living outside the United States, in most cases you must pay SE tax. You cannot reduce your foreign earnings from self-employment by your foreign earned income exclusion.
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Exception.(p2)

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The United States has social security agreements with many countries to eliminate dual taxes under two social security systems. Under these agreements, you must generally pay social security and Medicare taxes to only the country you live in.
The United States now has social security agreements with the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Additional agreements are expected in the future. If you have questions about international social security agreements, you can:
  1. Visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) website at www.socialsecurity.gov/international;
  2. Call the SSA's Office of International Programs at:
    1. (410) 965-0144 for questions on benefits under agreements, or
    2. (410) 965-3549 for questions on the coverage rules of the agreements; or
  3. Write to Social Security Administration, Office of International Programs, P.O. Box 17741, Baltimore, MD 21235-7741 USA.
If your self-employment income is exempt from SE tax, you should get a statement from the appropriate agency of the foreign country verifying that your self-employment income is subject to social security coverage in that country. If the foreign country will not issue the statement, contact the SSA at the address shown above. Do not complete Schedule SE. Instead, attach a copy of the statement to Form 1040 and enter Exempt, see attached statement on Form 1040, line 57.
taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP32e15477

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases(p2)


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While you are a debtor in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case, your net profit or loss from self-employment (for example, from Schedule C or Schedule F) will not be included in your Form 1040 income. Instead, it will be included on the income tax return (Form 1041) of the bankruptcy estate. However, you (not the bankruptcy estate) are responsible for paying self-employment tax on your net earnings from self-employment.
Enter on the dotted line to the left of Schedule SE, line 3, Chap. 11 bankruptcy income and the amount of your net profit or (loss). Combine that amount with the total of lines 1a, 1b, and 2 (if any) and enter the result on line 3.
For other reporting requirements, see page 20 in the instructions for Form 1040.
taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP01ab660d

More Than One Business(p2)


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If you had two or more businesses, your net earnings from self-employment are the combined net earnings from all of your businesses. If you had a loss in one business, it reduces the income from another. Figure the combined SE tax on one Schedule SE.
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Joint Returns(p2)


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Show the name of the spouse with self-employment income on Schedule SE. If both spouses have self-employment income, each must file a separate Schedule SE. However, if one spouse qualifies to use Short Schedule SE (front of form) and the other must use Long Schedule SE (back of form), both can use the same form. One spouse should complete the front and the other the back.
Include the total profits or losses from all businesses on Form 1040, as appropriate. Enter the combined SE tax on Form 1040, line 57.
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Community Income(p2)


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If any of the income from a business (including farming) is community income, then the income and deductions are reported based on the following.
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Married filing separately.(p2)

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If you and your spouse had community income and file separate returns, attach Schedule SE to the return of the spouse with the self-employment income. Also, attach Schedule(s) C, C-EZ, or F (showing the spouse's share of community income and expenses) to the return of each spouse.
If you are the spouse who carried on the business, you must include on Schedule SE, line 3, the net profit or (loss) reported on the other spouse's Schedule C, C-EZ, or F (except income not included in net earnings from self-employment as explained on page SE-3). Enter on the dotted line to the left of Schedule SE, line 3, Community income taxed to spouse and the amount of any net profit or (loss) allocated to your spouse as community income. Combine that amount with the total of lines 1a, 1b, and 2 and enter the result on line 3.
If you are not the spouse who carried on the business and you had no other income subject to SE tax, enter Exempt community income on Form 1040, line 57; do not file Schedule SE. However, if you had $400 or more of other earnings subject to SE tax, include on Schedule SE, line 1a or 2, the net profit or (loss) from Schedule(s) C, C-EZ, or F allocated to you as community income. Also, enter on the dotted line to the left of Schedule SE, line 3, Exempt community income and the allocated amount. If that amount is a net profit, subtract it from the total of lines 1a, 1b, and 2, and enter the result on line 3. If that amount is a loss, treat it as a positive amount, add it to the total of lines 1a, 1b, and 2, and enter the result on line 3.
caution
Community income included on Schedule(s) C, C-EZ, or F must be divided for income tax purposes based on the community property laws of your state. See Pub. 555 for more information.
taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP6d3f89b6

Qualified Joint Ventures(p2)


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If you and your spouse materially participate (see Material participation in the 2008 Instructions for Schedule C) as the only members of a jointly owned and operated business, and you file a joint return for the tax year, you can make a joint election to be taxed as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership.
To make this election, you must divide all items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit attributable to the business between you and your spouse in accordance with your respective interests in the venture. Each of you must file a separate Schedule C, C-EZ, or F. On each line of your separate Schedule C, C-EZ, or F, you must enter your share of the applicable income, deduction, or loss. Each of you also must file a separate Schedule SE to pay SE tax, as applicable.
taxmap/instr/i1040sse-001.htm#TXMP2aabbb95

Rental real estate business.(p2)

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If you and your spouse make the election for your rental real estate business, the income generally is not subject to SE tax (for an exception, see item 3 under Other Income and Losses Included in Net Earnings From Self-Employment on page SE-3).
If the election is made for a farm rental business that is not included in self-employment, file two forms 4835, Farm Rental Income and Expenses.
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Fiscal Year Filers(p2)


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If your tax year is a fiscal year, use the tax rate and earnings base that apply at the time the fiscal year begins. Do not prorate the tax or earnings base for a fiscal year that overlaps the date of a rate or earnings base change.
previous pagePrevious Page: Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax - 2008 Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040)
next pageNext Page: Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax - Specific Instructions
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.