Employment Taxes And The Self-Employed Global Worker – So “Un”Happy Together – Part II (1)

II. Social Security Taxes: The Bane of the Existence of Self-employed U.S. Citizens Who Work Abroad –

A hostile environment faces the person who, alone or with one or two others, goes into business for himself. In recent years, various factors have increased the adversity the small businessperson faces. Escalating employment taxes represent a significant barrier to the economic survival of these individuals.

This section explores the self-employment taxes that face a U.S. citizen working abroad as a self-employed individual.

a. The Employment Tax Regime

Three taxes comprise employment taxes: (1) social security; (2) unemployment; and (3) wage withholding taxes. This article addresses the impact that social security taxes have on the self-employed individual. Taxes paid by employers and employees under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”) and by the self-employed under the Self-Employment Contributions Act (“SECA”) fund the nation’s social security program.

As discussed above, FICA tax has two parts: Old-Age, Survivor, and Disability Insurance (“OASDI”) and Hospital Insurance (HI). SECA tax is payable on the net earnings from the self-employed person’s business. The main difference between SECA tax and FICA tax is that the self-employed individual pays the entire SECA amount with no contribution from a second participant. However, a deduction is allowed, equal to one-half of the individual’s self-employment tax liability.

FICA and SECA taxes represent a significant burden to small businesses. Particularly in the start-up phase, they contribute to the high rate of new business failures. The very small or new business lacks the established income stream and client base – not to mention the buying and bargaining power – of older, larger companies. Employment taxes, with ever-increasing rates, make their survival tenuous at best.

In accordance with Circular 230 Disclosure

As a former public defender, Michael has defended the poor, the forgotten, and the damned against a gov. that has seemingly unlimited resources to investigate and prosecute crimes. He has spent the last six years cutting his teeth on some of the most serious felony cases, obtaining favorable results for his clients. He knows what it’s like to go toe to toe with the government. In an adversarial environment that is akin to trench warfare, Michael has developed a reputation as a fearless litigator.

Michael graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He then earned his LLM in International Tax. Michael’s unique background in tax law puts him into an elite category of criminal defense attorneys who specialize in criminal tax defense. His extensive trial experience and solid grounding in all major areas of taxation make him uniquely qualified to handle any white-collar case.


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2 comments on “Employment Taxes And The Self-Employed Global Worker – So “Un”Happy Together – Part II (1)

  • Thanks for the props. To tell you the truth, writing comes easily for me. Maybe because I’ve had a lot of practice while in law school. It’s almost therapeutic. Usually, I get an idea for a topic when I’m exercising. That makes me intellectually curious and inspires me to research it thoroughly. My objective is to take something concepts that are difficult to understand and make them easily understood. Sometimes, the only way to succeed in this endeavor is by making use of hypotheticals to illustrate what are often abstract and arcane theories. Thanks again.

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