Filing Your Taxes Online is Fast, Easy and Secure.
Start now and receive your tax refund in as little as 7 days.

1. Get Answers

Your online questions are customized to your unique tax situation.

2. Maximize your Refund

Find tax credits for everything from school tuition to buying a hybri

3. E-File for FREE

E-file free with direct deposit to get your refund in as few as 7 days.

Filing your taxes with paper mail can be difficult and it could take weeks for your refund to arrive. IRS e-file is easy, fast and secure. There is no paperwork going to the IRS so tax refunds can be processed in as little as 7 days with direct deposit. As you prepare your taxes online, you can see your tax refund in real time.

FREE audit support and representation from an enrolled agent – NEW and only from H&R Block

Tax Filing Tips

E-file State Taxes Free2014 Tax Forms 1040ezFile A 1040ez OnlineFree Federal And State EfileFree 2012 Tax FormsHow To File A State Tax ReturnState Income Tax Number1040nr Tax CalculatorFree State Tax Preparation OnlineRevised Tax ReturnTaxes Supplemental Security Income SsiMyfreetaxes Com1040nr Ez Online Free2010 1040ez Tax FormTax PreparationH&r Block Tax OnlineWww Myfreetaxes ComFree Federal Tax Filing 2012File 2009 Taxes For FreeForm 1040 EzHow Can I File My 2010 TaxesFree State Filing TaxesTax Ez FormCompare Tax SoftwareIrs 1040xAmended Return1040ez Help1040zMilitary TaxFree Tax ReturnsHow To Fill Out A 1040x Step By Step2011 Tax Forms 1040 InstructionsH&r Block Free Tax FilingFle 2012 Taxes Late Online Tax FilingFree State EfilingFile State TaxHappens If I Didn't File Taxes Last YearWww Irs Gov FormspubsFile 2006 Tax Return FreeHow To Amend Tax

Tax Filing Tips

Tax filing tips Index A Allowances, Foreign areas allowances. Tax filing tips American Institute in Taiwan, American Institute in Taiwan. Tax filing tips Away from home, Traveling away from home. Tax filing tips B Business expenses, how to report, How To Report Business Expenses C Combat zone, Reminders Commuting expenses, Commuting. Tax filing tips Contributions, Contributions. Tax filing tips Cost-of-living allowances, Cost-of-living allowances. Tax filing tips Credit for foreign taxes, Foreign tax credit. Tax filing tips Currency conversion, loss on, Loss on conversion of U. Tax filing tips S. Tax filing tips dollars into foreign currency. Tax filing tips D Danger pay (see Pay differentials) Death due to terrorist action, Reminders Deduction for foreign taxes, Foreign tax deduction. Tax filing tips , Deduction for other foreign taxes. Tax filing tips Differential pay, Pay differentials. Tax filing tips Dues, Membership dues. Tax filing tips E Educational expenses, Educational expenses. Tax filing tips Employee business expenses, Other Employee Business Expenses Entertainment expenses, Limit on meals and entertainment. Tax filing tips Expenses, deductible, Other Employee Business Expenses Extension of time to file return, When To File and Pay F Federal court employees, Federal court employees. Tax filing tips Federal crime investigations, Exception for federal crime investigations or prosecutions. Tax filing tips Filing information, Filing Information, When To File and Pay Foreign areas allowances, Foreign areas allowances. Tax filing tips Foreign bank accounts, Foreign Bank Accounts Foreign earned income and housing exclusions, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion Foreign income, U. Tax filing tips S. Tax filing tips Government Payments Foreign service representation expenses, Foreign service representation expenses. Tax filing tips Foreign taxes, Foreign Taxes Forms 1116, Foreign tax credit. Tax filing tips 2106, Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ. Tax filing tips 2106-EZ, Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ. Tax filing tips 3903, How to report moving expenses. Tax filing tips TD F 90-22. Tax filing tips 1, Foreign Bank Accounts H Home leave, Home leave. Tax filing tips Home mortgage interest, Real estate tax and home mortgage interest. Tax filing tips Home, sale of, Sale of your home. Tax filing tips Hours of service limits, Individuals subject to hours of service limits. Tax filing tips I Impairment-related work expenses, Impairment-related work expenses. Tax filing tips Interest on home mortgage, Real estate tax and home mortgage interest. Tax filing tips International organization, U. Tax filing tips S. Tax filing tips reemployment after serving with, Federal reemployment payments after serving with an international organization. Tax filing tips Itemized deductions Contributions, Contributions. Tax filing tips Employee business expenses, Other Employee Business Expenses Home mortgage interest, Real estate tax and home mortgage interest. Tax filing tips Real estate tax, Real estate tax and home mortgage interest. Tax filing tips L Lodging, Lodging furnished to a principal representative of the United States. Tax filing tips Loss on currency conversion, Loss on conversion of U. Tax filing tips S. Tax filing tips dollars into foreign currency. Tax filing tips M Meal expenses, Limit on meals and entertainment. Tax filing tips More information (see Tax help) Mortgage interest, Real estate tax and home mortgage interest. Tax filing tips Moving expenses, Moving Expenses, Closely related to the start of work. Tax filing tips , Distance test. Tax filing tips , Time test. Tax filing tips , Reimbursements. Tax filing tips P Pay differentials, Pay differentials. Tax filing tips Peace Corps volunteers, Peace Corps. Tax filing tips Personal property, sale of, Sale of personal property. Tax filing tips Post differentials (see Pay differentials) Post exchanges, Employees of post exchanges, etc. Tax filing tips Principal representative, Lodging furnished to a principal representative of the United States. Tax filing tips Proving expenses, Recordkeeping Rules R Real estate tax, Real estate tax and home mortgage interest. Tax filing tips Recordkeeping, business expenses, Recordkeeping Rules Reemployed by federal agency, Federal reemployment payments after serving with an international organization. Tax filing tips Reporting Business expenses, How To Report Business Expenses Moving expenses, Moving Expenses, How to report moving expenses. Tax filing tips Representation expenses, Foreign service representation expenses. Tax filing tips S Sale of home, Sale of your home. Tax filing tips Sale of personal property, Sale of personal property. Tax filing tips Subscriptions, Subscriptions. Tax filing tips T Taiwan, American Institute in, American Institute in Taiwan. Tax filing tips Tax credit for foreign taxes, Foreign tax credit. Tax filing tips Taxpayer Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Service. Tax filing tips Temporary assignment, Temporary assignment. Tax filing tips Terrorist action, Reminders Transportation expenses, Transportation Expenses Travel expenses, Travel Expenses W When to file return, When To File and Pay Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center

Who is Self-Employed?

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

What are My Self-Employed Tax Obligations?

As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly.

Self-employed individuals generally must pay self-employment tax (SE tax) as well as income 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. In general, anytime the wording "self-employment tax" is used, it only refers to Social Security and Medicare taxes and not any other tax (like income tax).

Before you can determine if you are subject to self-employment tax and income tax, you must figure your net profit or net loss from your business. You do this by subtracting your business expenses from your business income. If your expenses are less than your income, the difference is net profit and becomes part of your income on page 1 of Form 1040. If your expenses are more than your income, the difference is a net loss. You usually can deduct your loss from gross income on page 1 of Form 1040. But in some situations your loss is limited. See Pub. 334, Tax Guide for Small Business (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ) for more information.

You have to file an income tax return if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more. If your net earnings from self-employment were less than $400, you still have to file an income tax return if you meet any other filing requirement listed in the Form 1040 instructions (PDF).

How Do I Make My Quarterly Payments?

Estimated tax is the method used to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes and income tax, because you do not have an employer withholding these taxes for you. Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals (PDF), is used to figure these taxes. Form 1040-ES contains a worksheet that is similar to Form 1040. You will need your prior year’s annual tax return in order to fill out Form 1040-ES.

Use the worksheet found in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals to find out if you are required to file quarterly estimated tax.

Form 1040-ES also contains blank vouchers you can use when you mail your estimated tax payments or you may make your payments using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). If this is your first year being self-employed, you will need to estimate the amount of income you expect to earn for the year. If you estimated your earnings too high, simply complete another Form 1040-ES worksheet to refigure your estimated tax for the next quarter. If you estimated your earnings too low, again complete another Form 1040-ES worksheet to recalculate your estimated taxes for the next quarter.

See the Estimated Taxes page for more information. The Self-Employment Tax page has more information on Social Security and Medicare taxes.

How Do I File My Annual Return?

To file your annual tax return, you will need to use Schedule C (PDF) or Schedule C-EZ (PDF) to report your income or loss from a business you operated or a profession you practiced as a sole proprietor. Schedule C Instructions (PDF) may be helpful in filling out this form.

Small businesses and statutory employees with expenses of $5,000 or less may be able to file Schedule C-EZ instead of Schedule C. To find out if you can use Schedule C-EZ, see the instructions in the Schedule C-EZ form.

In order to report your Social Security and Medicare taxes, you must file Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax (PDF). Use the income or loss calculated on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ to calculate the amount of Social Security and Medicare taxes you should have paid during the year. The Instructions (PDF) for Schedule SE may be helpful in filing out the form.

Business Structures

When beginning a business, you must decide what form of business entity to establish. 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. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a relatively new business structure allowed by state statute. Visit the Business Structures page to learn more about each type of entity and what forms to file.

Home Office Deduction

If you use part of your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. The home office deduction is available for homeowners and renters, and applies to all types of homes.

Husband and Wife Business - What is a Qualified Joint Venture?

Husband and Wife Business
The employment tax requirements for family employees may vary from those that apply to other employees. On this page we point out some issues to consider when operating a husband and wife business.

Election for Husband and Wife Unincorporated Businesses
For tax years beginning after December 31, 2006, the Small Business and Work Opportunity Tax Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-28) provides that a "qualified joint venture," whose only members are a husband and wife filing a joint return, can elect not to be treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes.

Considering a Tax Professional

Tips for Choosing a Tax Return Preparer

Online Learning Tools

The Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop is composed of nine interactive lessons designed to help new small business owners learn their tax rights and responsibilities. The IRS Video Portal contains video and audio presentations on topics of interest to small businesses, individuals and tax professionals.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 04-Mar-2014

The Tax Filing Tips

Tax filing tips Index A Affected taxpayer, Affected taxpayer. Tax filing tips B Book inventories, charitable deduction for, Charitable Deduction for Contributions of Book Inventories to Public Schools C Cancellation of indebtedness, Exclusion of Certain Cancellations of Indebtedness by Reason of Hurricane Katrina Casualty and theft losses, Casualty and Theft Losses Charitable contributions, Temporary Suspension of Limits on Charitable Contributions Charitable deduction: Book inventory, Charitable Deduction for Contributions of Book Inventories to Public Schools Food inventory, Charitable Deduction for Contributions of Food Inventory Child tax credit, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Clean-up costs, Demolition and Clean-up Costs Copy of tax return, request for, Request for copy of tax return. Tax filing tips Core disaster area, Gulf Opportunity (GO) Zone (Core Disaster Area) Covered disaster area: Katrina, Katrina Covered Disaster Area Rita, Hurricane Rita Disaster Area (Rita Covered Disaster Area) Wilma, Wilma Covered Disaster Area Credits: Child tax, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Earned income, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Education, Education Credits Employee retention, Employee Retention Credit Hurricane Katrina housing, Hurricane Katrina Housing Credit Rehabilitation tax, Increase in Rehabilitation Tax Credit Work opportunity, Work Opportunity Credit D Deadlines, extended, Extended Tax Deadlines Demolition costs, Demolition and Clean-up Costs Depreciation: Qualified GO Zone property, Qualified GO Zone property. Tax filing tips Special allowance, Special Depreciation Allowance Disaster area: Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Katrina Disaster Area Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Rita Disaster Area (Rita Covered Disaster Area) Hurricane Wilma, Hurricane Wilma Disaster Area Distributions: Home purchase or construction, Repayment of Qualified Distributions for the Purchase or Construction of a Main Home Qualified hurricane, Qualified hurricane distribution. Tax filing tips Repayment of, Repayment of Qualified Hurricane Distributions Taxation of, Taxation of Qualified Hurricane Distributions E Earned income credit, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Education credits, Education Credits Eligible retirement plan, Eligible retirement plan. Tax filing tips Employee retention credit, Employee Retention Credit Exemption, additional for housing, Additional Exemption for Housing Individuals Displaced by Hurricane Katrina F Federal mortgage subsidy, recapture of, Recapture of Federal Mortgage Subsidy Food inventory, charitable deduction for, Charitable Deduction for Contributions of Food Inventory G Gulf Opportunity (GO) Zone, Gulf Opportunity (GO) Zone (Core Disaster Area) H Help: How to get, How To Get Tax Help Phone number, How To Get Tax Help Special IRS assistance, How To Get Tax Help Website, How To Get Tax Help Hope credit (see Education credits) Hurricane Katrina disaster area, Hurricane Katrina Disaster Area Hurricane Katrina housing credit, Hurricane Katrina Housing Credit Hurricane Rita disaster area, Hurricane Rita Disaster Area (Rita Covered Disaster Area) Hurricane Wilma disaster area, Hurricane Wilma Disaster Area I Involuntary conversion (see Replacement period for nonrecognition of gain) IRAs and other retirement plans, IRAs and Other Retirement Plans L Lifetime learning credit (see Education credits) M Mileage reimbursements, charitable volunteers, Mileage Reimbursements to Charitable Volunteers N Net operating losses, Net Operating Losses Q Qualified GO Zone loss, Qualified GO Zone loss. Tax filing tips Qualified hurricane distribution, Qualified hurricane distribution. Tax filing tips R Reforestation costs, Reforestation Costs Rehabilitation tax credit, Increase in Rehabilitation Tax Credit Relocation, temporary, Tax Relief for Temporary Relocation Replacement period for nonrecognition of gain, Replacement Period for Nonrecognition of Gain Retirement plan, eligible, Eligible retirement plan. Tax filing tips Retirement plans, IRAs and Other Retirement Plans Rita GO Zone, Rita GO Zone S Section 179 deduction, Increased Section 179 Deduction Standard mileage rate, charitable use, Standard Mileage Rate for Charitable Use of Vehicles T Tax return: Request for copy, Request for copy of tax return. Tax filing tips Request for transcript, Request for transcript of tax return. Tax filing tips Taxpayer Advocate, Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate. Tax filing tips Temporary relocation, Tax Relief for Temporary Relocation Theft losses, Casualty and Theft Losses Timber: 5-year NOL carryback, 5-year NOL carryback of certain timber losses. Tax filing tips Reforestation costs, Reforestation Costs Transcript of tax return, request for, Request for transcript of tax return. Tax filing tips W Wilma GO Zone, Wilma GO Zone Work opportunity credit, Work Opportunity Credit Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications