Last year I had a "major" sale to an ad firm for some of my photos, to the tune of $3k. They sent me a 1099-MISC. I'm still in the 15% tax bracket even with that income, so my taxes should have increased by $450. However, I plugged it into TurboTax and it says my tax burden actually increased by ~$850. The reason? Apparently, this sale means that I own a home business and have to pay a $424 "Self-employment tax" and fill out a Schedule SE. And even if I say I bought my L lens for my "business" and tack on a tiny bit of driving around, the business deductions don't come anywhere near my standard deduction, so it's effectively taxing me 30% for that one sale. My question: Does this make sense to those of you 'Mer'cans who do freelance work? Or should I be counting it as some other type of income that gets me out of this self-employment tax ¢rap?