Benefits for the self-employed

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:37 pm
If you're self-employed, there are some rules you'll need to know, regarding social security benefits. As long as you make at least $400 net per year, report this income, and pay social security taxes on it, you can be eligible for all social security benefits. You'll receive work credits each year, just like a standard employee. What's more, you'll also retain any credits from previous jobs. A self-employed person who has worked long enough and recently enough will qualify for retirement benefits, survivor's benefits, disability, and Medicare hospital insurance. However, your earnings must be reported on your federal income tax return, schedule se. If you make less than $400, there are optional methods of reporting, that may allow you to receive social security credit. Ask the I-R-S for details. When you're self-employed, you must pay both the employer and employee share of social security tax, currently 15.3 percent of net profit. Even if you don't owe any income tax, you still need to file a return. It's important that social security have a complete and accurate record of your work history: your future benefit amounts will be based on this record. To find out more about benefits for the self-employed, contact the social security office, at 1-800-772-1213.

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