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 are notaries considered self employed?
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3100 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  2:14:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Notaries who do freelance signings are self-employed. You pay self employment tax too. However, notary income is exempt from self-employment tax, but the portion of your fees for signings that is not notary income is taxable for self-employment tax. You can consider whatever your state's maximum notary fee per signature as the portion of the income of a particular signing is notary income and the rest you can call signing or travel fees.

Additionally, notaries should get a business license from their county. This costs $100 or so, but keeps you legal. You would need a business name too. This makes you look more professional too which helps with your image and is good for business.

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1754 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  4:07:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unless you work for someone else who pays you wages, then you work for yourself, therefore you're self-employed. You do not work for commission - you charge a fee for your services determined by (a) the amount your state allows you to charge for your notarizations and (b) your costs of doing business...your expenses are then taken into account as deductions when you file your taxes.

As for unemployment, it depends on your state's laws, but I would guess you have to report ANY earnings to the state so your unemployment wages can be adjusted....you're not entitled to both.

By the way - you will not necessarily receive a 1099, so keep good records of how much you make. If you're doing loan signings, companies are only required to furnish a 1099 to you if they've paid you over $600 for the tax year...and if the funds are coming from their escrow or trustee account, I don't believe it's reportable on a 1099. So keep records of every penny you make as a notary for filing purposes....and remember, your entire income is subject to federal income tax, but the fee you charge for your notarizations is exempt from the self employment tax.

Hope this helps a little.

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18 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  09:47:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm new as you can tell and was wondering when it comes to filing taxes am I considered self employed? I assume I am because I will be receiving a 1099, but I'm not sure. I also am currently collecting unemployment and have to put down that I am earning. The choices are self employed or commission and was looking for some input regarding which line to choose. Sorry to ask such silly questions, but I get so many conflicting answers I don't know which way to turn. thanks.
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