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Department of Taxation and Finance

Are you self-employed?

NYS Financial Education Module 3 - Self employment resources-outline
NYS Financial Education Module 3 - Self-employment Resources

Are you self-employed?

You’re considered self-employed if you are paid directly by customers or clients and you don’t get a regular paycheck from one or more employers.

Examples of self-employed persons include, but are not limited to:

  • landscapers,
  • contractors,
  • painters,
  • plumbers,
  • electricians,
  • ride-sharing workers (such as Uber and Lyft drivers),
  • babysitters, and
  • housecleaners.

Key aspects of being self-employed:

You work solely for yourself and contract directly with your clients.

It provides great job flexibility but can also come with greater risks and fluctuating income.

Without a paycheck from an employer, you will not have taxes withheld, so you are responsible for making payments towards your income taxes.

You are responsible for keeping good books and records so you can determine the amount of income you expect to make payments on.

New York State residents who are self-employed, or sole proprietors, may also be required to file:

  • Federal self-employment taxes—taxes paid for Social Security and Medicare benefits
  • Federal Income tax—taxes paid to the IRS on income earned
  • New York State Income tax—taxes on income earned in the state of New York
  • New York City Income tax—taxes on income earned in New York City by both full- and part-time residents
  • Yonkers Income tax—taxes on income earned in Yonkers by residents or nonresidents 

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