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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

I'm self-employed. Do I still have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes?

En español | Yes. You pay in the form of the self-employment tax. The rate is 15.3 percent for 2014, equal to the sum of what would be deducted from your paycheck as Social Security and Medicare contributions if you were working for an employer and what the employer would contribute. The Social Security tax rate for 2012 is 12.4 percent on self-employment income up to $117,000. If your net earnings exceed that figure, you continue to pay only the Medicare portion of the Social Security tax, 2.9 percent, on the rest of your earnings. Portions of your self-employment tax can be taken as a deduction elsewhere on your tax return.

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