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Can I use Nonfarm optional method if first year self-employed?

Hello, I'd appreciate some help with the nonfarm optional method as this is my first year being self-employed. Turbotax indicates "The taxpayer may not use this method more than five times and net self-employment income must have been $400 or more for at least two out of the last three years prior to this year." Since this is my first year being self-employed, does this mean I cannot select this method to calculate self-employment tax? 

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JohnW152
Expert Alumni

Can I use Nonfarm optional method if first year self-employed?

That's exactly what it means -- you can't use this method in your first year of self-employment.

 

According to Nonfarm Optional Method in the Instructions for Schedule SE:

 

To use this method, you must also be regularly self-employed. You meet this requirement if your actual net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more in 2 of the 3 years before the year you use the nonfarm optional method. The net earnings of $400 or more could be from either farm or nonfarm earnings, or both. The net earnings include your distributive share of partnership income or loss subject to SE tax.

[Bolding mine.]

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2 Replies
JohnW152
Expert Alumni

Can I use Nonfarm optional method if first year self-employed?

That's exactly what it means -- you can't use this method in your first year of self-employment.

 

According to Nonfarm Optional Method in the Instructions for Schedule SE:

 

To use this method, you must also be regularly self-employed. You meet this requirement if your actual net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more in 2 of the 3 years before the year you use the nonfarm optional method. The net earnings of $400 or more could be from either farm or nonfarm earnings, or both. The net earnings include your distributive share of partnership income or loss subject to SE tax.

[Bolding mine.]

Can I use Nonfarm optional method if first year self-employed?

Thank you so much! Taxes are so confusing and it’s nice to know that sometimes what is simple actually is what it seems. 

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