If you are self-employed (file a schedule C) and show a profit, it is possible that you owe self-employment taxes even if you have no "taxable income".
The self-employment tax is separate from federal income taxes. It is, in essence, you paying both portions of social security and medicare income on any profits you have from your small business. Since this tax is calculated separately from federal income taxes and does not take into account deductions normally considered for income taxes (such as standard/itemized deductions and exemptions), it is possible to have a negative income but still owe self-employment taxes.
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