Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service
2008 Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040) Use Schedule SE (Form 1040) to figure the tax due on net earnings from self-employment. information from Schedule SE to figure Self-Employment The Social Security Administration uses theThis tax applies no matter how old you areyour benefits under the social security program. and even if you are already getting social security or Medicare benefits. Tax See Pub. 225 or Pub. 334.
Additional information. Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted.
For 2008, the maximum amount of self-employment income subject to social security tax is $102,000.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments. The Food, Conservation, and
Energy Act of 2008 excludes CRP payments from self-employment tax for individuals receiving social security benefits for retirement or disability. This is effective for payments received after December 31, 2007. See the instructions for line 1b on page SE-3.
Optional methods to figure net earnings.
Beginning after December 31, 2007, the amount of gross and net income from self-employment you may have when using the farm optional method or nonfarm optional method has increased. This allows electing taxpayers to secure up to four credits of social security benefits coverage. In future years, the thresholds will be indexed to maintain that level of coverage. See Optional Methods on page SE-4.
Employees of Churches and Church Organizations 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. Ministers and Members of Religious Orders 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.
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: · The rental value of a home or an allowance for a home furnished to you (including payments for utilities), and · The value of meals and lodging provided to you, your spouse, and your dependents for your employer's convenience. However, do not include on line 2: · Retirement benefits you received from a church plan after retirement, or · The rental value of a home or an allowance for a home furnished to you (including payments for utilities) after retirement. 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 al-
lowable expenses from your self-employment 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.
Members of Certain Religious Sects 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. U.S. Citizens Employed by Foreign Governments or International Organizations 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.
Exception -- Dual citizens. A person with
Who Must File Schedule SE
You must file Schedule SE if: · Your net earnings from self-employment (see page SE-3) from other than church employee income were $400 or more, or · You had church employee income of $108.28 or more -- see Employees of Churches and Church Organizations later.
Who Must Pay Self-Employment (SE) Tax?
Self-Employed Persons 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.
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.
Cat. No. 24334P
U.S. Citizens or Resident Aliens Living Outside the United States 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.
Exception. The United States has social
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.
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.
More Than One Business
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.
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: a. (410) 965-0144 for questions on benefits under agreements, or b. (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.
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.
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.
Qualified Joint Ventures
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.
Rental real estate business. 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 any of the income from a business (including farming) is community income, then the income and deductions are reported based on the following. · If only one spouse participates in the business, all of the income from that business is the self-employment earnings of the spouse who carried on the business. · If both spouses participate, the income and deductions are allocated to the spouses based on their distributive shares. · If either or both you and your spouse are partners in a partnership, see Partnership Income or Loss on page SE-3. · If you and your spouse elected to treat the business as a qualifying joint venture, see Qualified Joint Ventures on this page.
Married filing separately. If you and your
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases 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
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
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.
Fiscal Year Filers
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.
Read the flowchart on page 1 of Schedule SE to see if you can use Section A, Short Schedule SE, or if you must use Section B, Long Schedule SE. For either section, you need to know what to include as net earnings from self-employment. Read the following instructions to see what to include as net earnings and how to fill in either Short or Long Schedule SE, lines 1 and 2. Enter all negative amounts in parentheses.
in figuring your net earnings from self-employment. Unlike the division of that income between spouses for figuring income tax, no part of your share can be included in figuring your spouse's net earnings from self-employment.
You are considered self-employed if you produced crops or livestock on someone else's land for a share of the crops or livestock produced (or a share of the proceeds from the sale of them). This applies even if you paid another person (an agent) to do the actual work or management for you. Report your net earnings for income tax purposes on Schedule F (Form 1040) and for SE tax purposes on Schedule SE. See Pub. 225 for details.
Line 1b (Short or Long Schedule SE)
If you were receiving social security retirement or social security disability benefits at the time you received your Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payment(s), enter the amount of your taxable CRP payment(s) on line 1b. These payments are included on Schedule F, line 6b, or listed on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), box 20, code X.
Other Income and Losses Included in Net Earnings From Self-Employment
1. Rental income from a farm if, as landlord, you materially participated in the production or management of the production of farm products on this land. This income is farm earnings. To determine whether you materially participated in farm management or production, do not consider the activities of any agent who acted for you. The material participation tests for landlords are explained in chapter 12 of Pub. 225. 2. Cash or a payment-in-kind from the Department of Agriculture for participating in a land diversion program. 3. Payments for the use of rooms or other space when you also provided substantial services for the convenience of your tenants. Examples are hotel rooms, boarding houses, tourist camps or homes, trailer parks, parking lots, warehouses, and storage garages. See chapter 5 of Pub. 334 for more information. 4. Income from the retail sale of newspapers and magazines if you were age 18 or older and kept the profits. 5. Income you receive as a direct seller. Newspaper carriers or distributors of any age are direct sellers if certain conditions apply. See chapter 5 of Pub. 334 for details. 6. Amounts received by current or former self-employed insurance agents and salespersons that are: a. Paid after retirement but figured as a percentage of commissions received from the paying company before retirement, b. Renewal commissions, or c. Deferred commissions paid after retirement for sales made before retirement. However, certain termination payments received by former insurance salespersons are not included in net earnings from self-employment (as explained in item 10 under Income and Losses Not Included in Net Earnings From Self-Employment beginning on this page). 7. Income of certain crew members of fishing vessels with crews of normally fewer than 10 people. See chapter 10 of Pub. 334 for details.
Net Earnings From Self-Employment
In most cases, net earnings include your net profit from a farm or nonfarm business. If you were a partner in a partnership, see the following instructions.
8. Fees as a state or local government employee if you were paid only on a fee basis and the job was not covered under a federal-state social security coverage agreement. 9. Interest received in the course of any trade or business, such as interest on notes or accounts receivable. 10. Fees and other payments received by you for services as a director of a corporation. 11. Recapture amounts under sections 179 and 280F that you included in gross income because the business use of the property dropped to 50% or less. Do not include amounts you recaptured on the disposition of property. See Form 4797. 12. Fees you received as a professional fiduciary. This may also apply to fees paid to you as a nonprofessional fiduciary if the fees relate to active participation in the operation of the estate's business, or the management of an estate that required extensive management activities over a long period of time. 13. Gain or loss from section 1256 contracts or related property by an options or commodities dealer in the normal course of dealing in or trading section 1256 contracts.
Partnership Income or Loss
If you were a general or limited partner in a partnership, include on line 1a or line 2, whichever applies, the amount of net earnings from self-employment from Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), box 14, code A, and Schedule K-1 (Form 1065-B), box 9, code J1. General partners should reduce this amount before entering it on Schedule SE by any section 179 expense deduction claimed, unreimbursed partnership expenses claimed, and depletion claimed on oil and gas properties. However, if you reduce the amount you enter on Schedule SE, attach an explanation. See Partner's Instructions for Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) for details. Limited partners include only guaranteed payments for services actually rendered to or on behalf of the partnership. If a partner died and the partnership continued, include in self-employment income the deceased's distributive share of the partnership's ordinary income or loss through the end of the month in which he or she died. See section 1402(f). If you were married and both you and your spouse were partners in a partnership, each of you must report your net earnings from self-employment from the partnership. Each of you must file a Schedule SE and report the partnership income or loss on Schedule E (Form 1040), Part II, for income tax purposes. If only one of you was a partner in a partnership, the spouse who was the partner must report his or her net earnings from self-employment from the partnership.
Community income. Your own distributive share of partnership income is included
Income and Losses Not Included in Net Earnings From Self-Employment
1. Salaries, fees, etc., subject to social security or Medicare tax that you received for performing services as an employee, including services performed as a public official (except as a fee basis government employee as explained in item 8 under Other Income and Losses Included in Net Earnings From Self-Employment) or as an employee or employee representative under the railroad retirement system. 2. Fees received for services performed as a notary public. If you had no other income subject to SE tax, enter "Exempt -- Notary" on Form 1040, line 57; do not file Schedule SE. However, if you had other earnings of $400 or more subject to SE tax, enter "Exempt -- Notary" and the amount of your net profit as a notary public from Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ on the dotted line to the left of Schedule SE, line 3. Subtract that amount from the total of lines 1a, 1b, and 2 and enter the result on line 3. 3. Income you received as a retired partner under a written partnership plan that provides for lifelong periodic retirement payments if you had no other interest in the partnership and did not perform services for it during the year. 4. Income from real estate rentals if you did not receive the income in the course of a trade or business as a real estate dealer. Report this income on Schedule E, or on Schedule C or C-EZ if you and your spouse made an election to be taxed as a qualified joint venture. 5. Income from farm rentals (including rentals paid in crop shares) if, as landlord,
you did not materially participate in the production or management of the production of farm products on the land. See chapter 12 of Pub. 225 for details. Report this income on Form 4835. Use two Forms 4835 if you and your spouse made an election to be taxed as a qualified joint venture. 6. Payments you receive from the Conservation Reserve Program if you are receiving social security benefits for retirement or disability. Deduct these payments on line 1b of Schedule SE. 7. Dividends on shares of stock and interest on bonds, notes, etc., if you did not receive the income in the course of your trade or business as a dealer in stocks or securities. 8. Gain or loss from: a. The sale or exchange of a capital asset; b. The sale, exchange, involuntary conversion, or other disposition of property unless the property is stock in trade or other property that would be includible in inventory, or held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of the business; or c. Certain transactions in timber, coal, or domestic iron ore. 9. Net operating losses from other years. 10. Termination payments you received as a former insurance salesperson if all of the following conditions are met. a. The payment was received from an insurance company because of services you performed as an insurance salesperson for the company. b. The payment was received after termination of your agreement to perform services for the company. c. You did not perform any services for the company after termination and before the end of the year in which you received the payment. d. You entered into a covenant not to compete against the company for at least a 1-year period beginning on the date of termination. e. The amount of the payment depended primarily on policies sold by or credited to your account during the last year of the agreement, or the extent to which those policies remain in force for some period after termination, or both. f. The amount of the payment did not depend to any extent on length of service or overall earnings from services performed for the company (regardless of whether eligibility for the payment depended on length of service).
social security wages and tips from Form W-2 on line 8a.
How Can the Optional Methods Help You? Social security coverage. The optional methods may give you credit toward your social security coverage even though you have a loss or a small amount of income from self-employment. Earned income credit (EIC). Using the optional methods may qualify you to claim the EIC or give you a larger credit if your net earnings from self-employment (determined without using the optional methods) are less than $4,200. Figure the EIC with and without using the optional methods to see if the optional methods will benefit you. Additional child tax credit. Using the optional methods may qualify you to claim the additional child tax credit or give you a larger credit if your net earnings from self-employment (determined without using the optional methods) are less than $4,200. Figure the additional child tax credit with and without using the optional methods to see if the optional methods will benefit you. Child and dependent care credit. The optional methods may help you qualify for this credit or give you a larger credit if your net earnings from self-employment (determined without using the optional methods) are less than $4,200. Figure this credit with and without using the optional methods to see if the optional methods will benefit you.
Self-employed health insurance deduction.
up to $4,200, as your net earnings. This method can increase or decrease your net earnings from farm self-employment even if the farming business had a loss. For a farm partnership, figure your share of gross income based on the partnership agreement. With guaranteed payments, your share of the partnership's gross income is your guaranteed payments plus your share of the gross income after it is reduced by all guaranteed payments made by the partnership. If you were a limited partner, include only guaranteed payments for services you actually rendered to or on behalf of the partnership.
Nonfarm Optional Method
You may be able to use this method to figure your net earnings from nonfarm self-employment if your net nonfarm profits were less than $4,548 and also less than 72.189% of your gross nonfarm income. Net nonfarm profits are the total of the amounts from: · Schedule C (Form 1040), line 31, · Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), line 3, · Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), box 14, code A (from other than farm partnerships), and · Schedule K-1 (Form 1065-B), box 9, code J1. To use this method, you also must be regularly self-employed. You meet this requirement if your actual net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more in 2 of the 3 years preceding the year you use the nonfarm optional method. The net earnings of $400 or more could be from either farm or nonfarm earnings or both. The net earnings include your distributive share of partnership income or loss subject to SE tax. Use of the nonfarm optional method from nonfarm self-employment is limited to 5 years. The 5 years do not have to be consecutive. Under this method, report in Part II, line 17, two-thirds of your gross nonfarm income, up to $4,200, as your net earnings. But you cannot report less than your actual net earnings from nonfarm self-employment. Figure your share of gross income from a nonfarm partnership in the same manner as a farm partnership. See Farm Optional Method on this page for details.
The optional methods of computing net earnings from self-employment may be used to figure your self-employed health insurance deduction.
Using the optional methods may give you the benefits described above, but they may also increase your SE tax. Changing Your Method You can change the method after you file your return. That is, you can change from the regular to the optional method or from the optional to the regular method. To do this, file Form 1040X.
Farm Optional Method
You may use this method to figure your net earnings from farm self-employment if your gross farm income was $6,300 or less or your net farm profits were less than $4,548. Net farm profits are: · The total of the amounts from Schedule F (Form 1040), line 36, and Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), box 14, code A, minus · The amount you would have entered on Schedule SE, line 1b, had you not used the optional method. There is no limit on how many years you can use this method. Under this method, report in Part II, line 15, two-thirds of your gross farm income,
Using Both Optional Methods
If you can use both methods, you can report less than your total actual net earnings from farm and nonfarm self-employment, but you cannot report less than your actual net earnings from nonfarm self-employment alone. If you use both methods to figure net earnings, you cannot report more than $4,200 of net earnings from self-employment.
Statutory Employee Income
If you were required to check the box on Schedule C or C-EZ, line 1, because you were a statutory employee, do not include the net profit or (loss) from that Schedule C, line 31 (or the net profit from Schedule C-EZ, line 3), on Short or Long Schedule SE, line 2. But if you file Long Schedule SE, be sure to include statutory employee
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