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The self-employment tax is a combination of social security and medicare. The rate is 15.3% of his net income from self-employment. If he gets over the maximum wages for social security (about $85-90k) the self-employment tax also drops to just the Medicare rate, which is 2.9%.

The effective rate is a little lower because he gets to reduce his net income from SE by multiplying it by .9235 before applying the 15.3%. And then there's another little break because he gets to subtract half of his SE tax from his AGI.

--fleg
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