Self-employment refers to individuals who work for themselves, often as freelancers, contractors, or sole proprietors, rather than employees for another person or business. They are responsible for finding clients, completing projects, and managing their taxes and finances.
Self-employed individuals can earn income through various sources, including but not limited to:
Self-employment income is generally considered business income because it is generated through a person’s trade or business activities. This classification is important, as it has tax and financial implications that differ from those of a traditional employee.
Self-employed individuals are subject to different tax requirements compared to employees. They must pay the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes, known as self-employment tax. Additionally, they are responsible for reporting their business income and expenses on their individual tax return, usually on Schedule C.
There are two common types of bankruptcy that self-employed individuals may consider:
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court-appointed trustee may sell non-exempt business assets to pay creditors. This could result in the liquidation of your business. However, if your business has little or no assets, it may be possible to continue operating after bankruptcy.
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, self-employed individuals can continue running their businesses while repaying their debts through a court-approved plan. This option provides more flexibility and allows the debtor to retain their business assets. It is important to note that your business’s valuation will be considered in determining how much your unsecured creditors are paid throughout the bankruptcy.
Before filing for bankruptcy, gathering and organizing your financial records is essential. This includes income statements, bank statements, tax returns, and assets and liabilities. Understanding your financial situation will help you and your attorney determine the best course of action for your bankruptcy case.
Bankruptcy laws can be complex, and navigating the process as a self-employed individual may be challenging. It is highly recommended to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can advise you on your options and help you make an informed decision. They can also guide you through filing and ensure you comply with all legal requirements.
In summary, money earned from self-employment is considered business income, which can have various tax and financial implications. When it comes to bankruptcy, self-employed individuals can file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on their financial situation and the nature of their business. Organizing financial records and consulting with a bankruptcy attorney is crucial to determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do I know if I’m considered self-employed?
You are considered self-employed if you work for yourself and not as an employee of another person or company. Examples of self-employment include freelancing, consulting, and running a sole proprietorship.
2. How does self-employment income affect my taxes?
Self-employment income is subject to self-employment tax, which covers the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes. You are also responsible for reporting your business income and expenses on your individual tax return, typically on Schedule C.
3. Can I continue running my business during bankruptcy?
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can continue operating your business while repaying your debts through a court-approved plan. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the outcome depends on the value of your business assets and whether they need to be sold to pay off debts.
4. Do I need a bankruptcy attorney if I am self-employed?
While it is not legally required to have an attorney, consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is strongly recommended, as bankruptcy laws can be complex, and the process may be challenging for self-employed individuals.
5. How long will bankruptcy remain on my credit report?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically stays on your credit report for ten years, while Chapter 13 remains on your report for seven years. This can impact your ability to obtain credit or loans in the future.
Robert Stiberman is a bankruptcy attorney with extensive experience representing self-employed individuals. He has represented numerous clients in bankruptcy cases and can offer advice in a bankruptcy audit. With his knowledge and expertise, Robert Stiberman can provide his clients with the guidance and representation they need to navigate bankruptcy successfully.
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