I'm working full-time for a company, but I also have my own mobile app business on the side. Do all the regular self-employment rules apply to me? I'd like to take the money I make from my side business as income without have to jump through all the hoops that seem to be involved with self-employment taxes, laws, etc.

I've tried to do some googling, but it's been hard due to my unique situation.

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    The effective tax rate on your side business income will almost certainly be higher than on the income from your full-time job, because you'll have to pay self-employment taxes on that income in addition to paying the tax on your total AGI. That's because your employer is paying at least a portion of some of the taxes on your income from them, so when you're self employed you have to pay tax on your income and also pay the "employer" portion. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 18:26
  • Although for social security tax, the W-2 income comes 'first': if your W-2 plus SE income exceeds the yearly cap (currently $127,200) you pay SS on all the W-2 but only part of the SE, and if your W-2 by itself reaches the cap, you don't pay SS on any SE. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 5:26

1 Answer 1


(Your situation is not unique: lots of people have part-time "sole proprietorship" side jobs.)

Any revenue from your mobile app business is... income. Therefore you have to pay tax on it. Even if the business operates at an overall loss, the Schedule C is required. Schedule C to determine your profit, and Schedule SE to determine taxes.

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    It might be clearer to say that any revenue from the mobile app business counts as income at least as far as requiring the asker to file a Schedule C. Even if the side business operates at a loss, over a fairly small amount of revenue, we have to file Schedule C to show that the expenses for the business exceeded the revenues. Any profit from the business is added to the total AGI (assuming pass-through). I'm sure you know all this - I just wanted to point out for others reading that they should not be fooled into thinking that no profit means no need to file Schedule C. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 18:30
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    @Todd Wilcox: Also some business losses can be deducted from your salaried income, others can be carried forward - a loss this year can offset part of next year's profit.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 19:32

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