Self-Employment Tax Forms

What Self-Employment Tax Forms Do I Need?

Everyone's tax situation is different, so this is just a basic primer of the types of tax forms you may need, if you are self employed.

If I am a freelancer….

To be a freelancer or an independent contractor, by definition, is to be self-employed. However, not everyone who is self-employed is a freelancer. Home business owners will use different tax forms, than independent contractors. These are among the forms you will need if you are freelancer.

  • 1099-MISC Tax Form
    • This form reports the income ($600 or more) an independent contractor has earned from a client. You will receive a copy by the end of January, and your client will file one with the federal government.
  • Schedule C
    • This form is used to calculate profit or loss from a business operated as a sole proprietorship. The amount of profit or loss is then entered on to your 1040
  • Schedule SE - This is the form in which you calculate your self-employment tax, which are your Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you were employed, these would be deducted from your paycheck.

If I have a home business…

  • Schedule C
    • If your business is operated as a sole proprietorship, you will file a schedule C.
  • Schedule SE
    • If you file a Schedule C and have a profit, you will need to file a Schedule SE.
  • Form 1120 - U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return
    • If you operate


 If I have a home office…

IRS Form 8829
IRS Form 8829 is used to calculate expenses for business use of your home, i.e. home office tax deduction, for those filing a Schedule C. This form is not used to deduct office equipment or furniture, but only to calculate the deduction for use of your home.

I am not a tax attorney, CPA or tax preparation specialist. The information here is meant as a general guide. For specific questions about your own taxes, please refer to IRS publications or consult a tax specialist.