The work of notaries public is in demand with all so many people buying or refinancing their homes. A notary must attest to many signatures in the closing of a purchase or refinancing of real estate. A notary public serves as a state official who is a bonded witness of a signature. In Florida and perhaps in other states, a notary public can also perform a marriage.
While the net income of a notary public is subject to federal income tax, it is not subject to self-employment tax. Section 1402(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code and Regulations Section 1.1402(c)-2(b) provide that the income of a notary public is not subject to self-employment tax.
If a notary public has another business as a self-employed individual, the notary public must pay self-employment tax on the net income from the other business. The notary public must keep a separate account of the income and expenses of each separate business.
A self-employed notary public reports the income and expenses from serving as a notary public on Schedule C of Form 1040. However, the net income from serving as a notary public does not go on Schedule SE because the net income from serving as a notary public is exempt from the self-employment tax.
If the taxpayer has erroneously paid self-employment tax on the net income from serving as a notary public in previous years, the taxpayer should consider filing an amended return on Form 1040X to claim a refund for all open years. In general, a taxpayer has two years from the time the taxpayer paid the tax or three years from the date the taxpayer filed the return, whichever is later, to claim a refund. Taxpayers should consult a competent tax professional before filing an amended return.