April 15th, 2013 — Government, Self-employment
Taking business deductions creates two problems for the self-employed:
Deductions encourage self-employed workers to compete in “a race to the bottom“. Self-employed try to earn the least money possible in order to pay as little as possible towards SE (Social Security/Medicare) taxes. Instead of focusing on growing their business, they fixate on keeping it in check by spending more and thus, earning less.
Deductions can threaten self-employed worker’s retirement. The US Social Security Administration uses NET BUSINESS EARNINGS rather than gross business earnings to determine unincorporated self-employed workers’ Social Security eligibility and payout at retirement.
Yet, it’s in the interests of our Social Security system for the government to encourage self-employed to earn more money. In fact, it’s in the best interests of all Americans to help self-employed businesses survive and thrive. That’s why I’ve proposed a “No-Cost Tax Break for Self-Employed“.
But even if we reform the SE tax rate, how do we get self-employed workers’ incomes headed upwards instead of downwards? Continue reading →
April 4th, 2013 — Self-employment, Taxes
A reader of a recent post asked, Nancy, I understand that a self-employed person has to shoulder the expenses that an ordinary wage or salaried person does not. But if those expenses are legitimate, and a self-employed person doesn’t earn enough to pay SE tax, how can that person even make a living to survive? If they aren’t making enough revenue to cover their costs of operating their business, how can they afford to cover their personal expenses to survive?
This is the key question I’ll discuss today. It’s why I believe some self-employed workers need a break on paying SE tax. Continue reading →
March 25th, 2013 — Government, Self-employment
If you’ve been reading my posts about the self-employed on Huffington Post, you may wonder why you should care about tax reform for the self-employed. Why care if self-employed make less money than employed yet pay higher tax rates? So what if lower-income self-employed get taxed twice on the higher amount they have to pay for SE (Social Security/Medicare) tax?
How many self-employed people are there in America anyway?
The US Census Department, 2009 Current Population Survey counted more than fifteen million. That’s well over ten percent of the US workforce, and it’s one-third greater than the current 7.7 unemployment rate that has everyone so worried. Fifteen million is three times the total membership of the powerful lobbying group, the NRA (National Rifle Association).
So, why isn’t the government concerned about self-employed Americans? And why should you care?
Because self-employment is the foundation for small businesses, and right now small businesses, not large corporations, are the chief driver of innovation and new job creation in the US economy. Continue reading →