Self Employment - Independent Contractor Income

As an independent contractor or self-employed individual, you should report your income on Schedule C (Form 1040).

Per the IRS Instructions for Schedule C, page C-1:

Use Schedule C (Form 1040 or 1040-SR) to report income or (loss) from a business you operated or a profession you practiced as a sole proprietor. An activity qualifies as a business if your primary purpose for engaging in the activity is for income or profit and you are involved in the activity with continuity and regularity. For example, a sporadic activity, not-for-profit activity, or a hobby does not qualify as a business. To report income from a nonbusiness activity, see the instructions for Schedule 1 (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), line 8, or Form 1040-NR, line 21.

Note. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to report ALL self-employment income, regardless of whether or not a Form 1099-MISC was received.

Per the IRS Instructions for Schedule SE, page SE-1:

Who Must File Schedule SE

You must file Schedule SE if:

  • The amount on line 4 of Short Schedule SE or line 4c of Long Schedule SE is $400 or more, or
  • You had church employee income of $108.28 or more. (Income from services you performed as a minister, member of a religious order, or Christian Science practitioner isn't church employee income.)

To report your self-employment income in the TaxAct® program:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner, then select Federal.
  2. Click Business Income in the Federal Quick Q&A Topics menu to expand the section and then click Business income or loss from a sole proprietorship
  3. Click +Add Federal Schedule C to create a new copy of the form or click Review to review a form already created 
  4. The program will proceed with the interview questions for you to enter or review the appropriate information

The filing requirements to determine whether a person must file a federal tax return are based on factors such as the taxpayer's income, the filing status and the age of the taxpayer, the age of the spouse on joint returns, if the taxpayer is claimed as a dependent on someone else's return, earnings from self-employment, etc. You may review the IRS Instructions for Form 1040 for more information.