Tax Glossary

Tax Glossary

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There are currently 17 Definitions in this directory beginning with the letter S.
Sale of Main Home
Only a gain from the sale of a taxpayer's main home may be excluded from the taxpayer's income; a gain from a sale of a home that is not the taxpayer's main home will generally have to be reported as income.

Self-employment Income
Earned income from a trade, business, farming or profession that is not paid by an employer. For example, hair stylists and lawncare workers who work for themselves (and not for someone else) are considered self-employed.

Self-employment Tax
Self-employment (SE) tax is social security and Medicare taxes collected primarily from individuals who work for themselves, similar to the social security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners.

Simplified Method
This method is used to calculate the tax-free portion of each pension or annuity payment.

Single Filing Status
Filing status that applies to a taxpayer who (1) has never married, or (2) is legally separated or divorced.

Social Security Benefits
Payments made under Title II of the Social Security Act. They include old-age, survivors, disability insurance, and some workers' compensation benefits.

Social Security Administration

Special separation benefits, a type of military severance payment that affects the amount of VA compensation paid.

Social Security Number

Standard Deduction
An amount, provided by law and based on filing status, age, blindness, and dependency that taxpayers can deduct from their adjusted gross income before tax is determined.

Standard Mileage Method
One of two methods for calculating business automobile expenses. For the standard mileage method, the taxpayer multiplies the business miles by the mileage rate for that tax year. (The other method is the actual expense method).

Statutory employee
If workers are independent contractors, such workers may nevertheless be treated as employees by statute (a statutory employee) for certain employment tax purposes.

Stock dividends
Stock dividends merely increase the taxpayer's number of shares in the company and generally are not taxable.

Stock split
A stock split is a method used by corporations to lower the market price of stock. A two-for-one stock split will decrease the basis per share by half. The original basis of $200 for 100 shares becomes $200 for 200 shares.

Student Loan Interest
The interest paid during the year on a loan for qualified higher education expenses that were for the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, or a person who was the taxpayer's dependent when the loan was obtained.

Substantial Presence Test
The criteria that an individual without a green card must meet in order to be considered a resident alien; the criteria relate to specific numbers of days physically present in the United States.

Support Test
One of the tests for identifying a qualifying child or a qualifying relative as a dependent: Did the taxpayer provide over half of the potential dependent's total support for the year?