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Schedule SE/C Tax Returns

What is it measuring?

The number of workers with self-employment income.

What does it tell us?

12 percent of all tax filers with earnings filed returns reporting self-employment income or the operation of a nonfarm sole-proprietorship, up 32 percent since 2001. 0.7 percent filed a return reporting income from an online intermediary.

How is it collected?

Findings are based on a sample of 2014 individual tax returns, including a 10-percent sample of individuals who file a Schedule SE or Schedule C, which are used to report self-employment income and sole-proprietorships, and a 1-percent sample of W2 wage earners without self-employment income.

Who collects it?

The Office of Tax Analysis of the U.S. Department of Treasury.


This count includes only self-employed workers, and so excludes many other independent arrangements, like temp-agency, on-call, and contract-company work. In addition, although it considers comprehensively all tax returns filed, workers may not always be filing the appropriate forms.

How to access this data?

The full returns are not publicly available, but much administrative tax data is available via the IRS Tax Statistics page.


The Rise of Alternative Work Arrangements: Evidence and Implications for Tax Filing and Benefit Coverage; 2017; Emilie Jackson, Adam Looney, and Shanthi Ramnath; Dpt of Treasury Office of Tax Analysis;