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5 income tax tips for Notaries and Signing Agents

A person writing on document with laptop and calculator nearby

Updated 1-11-24 with information for the 2023 tax year.

April is just around the corner, which means it's time for Notaries to get their income tax returns ready for the 2023 tax year. There are five tips Notaries should consider when preparing to file income tax, according to David M. Green, who is a Notary, Enrolled Agent, National Tax Practice Institute Fellow and owner of David M. Green Bookkeeping and Tax Service in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

These are general guidelines only, and every person’s tax situation can differ. If you have specific questions about your income tax situation, contact the IRS or a qualified tax advisor.

1. Reporting Notarization Fees

According to IRS Publication 17, all fees received specifically for notarial acts should be included in gross income — the amount of money received before anything is deducted — on a Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040). Notarization fees are not subject to self-employment tax, but be sure to check with a qualified tax professional or the IRS if you have questions or if there are other factors that could affect how you report your income.

2. Notaries Paying Self-Employment Tax

Mobile Notaries must carefully itemize notarial versus non-notarial fees from loan signing assignments. If you are a self-employed Notary Signing Agent, IRS Publication 17 states that you must pay self-employment tax if you had net earnings of $400 or more from fees for services other than notarizing documents (for example, traveling to a signer’s home, delivering completed loan document packages, etc.). Any income falling into this category must be declared on an IRS Form 1040, Schedule SE for self-employment tax purposes.

3. 1099-NEC

If you’re working as an independent contractor for different companies and lenders, you can expect to receive a 1099-NEC (Non Employee Compensation) from any company that paid you $600 or more to perform loan document signing assignments. If a company paid you less than $600 for loan signing assignments during the year, it is not required to send you a 1099-NEC (though some may still send you the form) — but you still may be required to report that income on your taxes, so keep careful records of all earnings throughout the year.

4. Keeping Accurate Records

Keep careful track of all your tax-related information. For example, if you intend to deduct your mileage for mobile Notary assignments, you should keep a detailed mileage log showing the date and how many miles you traveled for each assignment, either on paper or electronically. There are a few good apps such as MileIQ, Milebug and MileTracker for smartphones that keep track of mileage on a daily basis. If you plan to deduct subscription costs for an online Notary directory to market your business such as, be sure to keep any receipts and records of your subscription payments.

5. Home Office Deductions

The home office deduction allows you to claim as business expenses a portion of both deductible expenses, such as mortgage interest and real estate taxes, and otherwise nondeductible personal expenses including utilities, home insurance, repairs and depreciation. However, you must keep all statements and receipts to substantiate these claims. Be careful when claiming a deduction for using part of your home as an office. Home office deductions have very strict requirements, though there is a simplified home office deduction option also available. As a general rule, the IRS regulations for home office deductions require that the space is used exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business or as a meeting place for clients and customers in order to be claimed as an income tax deduction. 

2023 Year Tax Deadline Reminder

For this upcoming tax season, the deadline for individual tax returns the deadline for individual tax returns for everybody in the  United States is Monday, April 15th, 2024. 

David Thun is the Editorial Manager at the National Notary Association.

Additional Resources:

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16 Feb 2015

Thank you so much for all the informative topics you share and educate us. Keep up the great work!

John McCoy

16 Feb 2015

As a mobile Notary, a typical re-fi signing has 6, 8 or more Notary seals. In FL, if $10. per Notarization is applied and entered on form SE, this amount in some cases would completely negate any income from the signing. How are Notary fees separated from the overall fee paid for the signing? This is very confusing.

Michael A Aloe

16 Feb 2015

We all work very hard in this business to overpay our taxes.


16 Feb 2015


National Notary Association

17 Feb 2015

Hello, Please see Tip 1, "Reporting Notarization Fees," above.

Melanie Moder

16 Feb 2015

How can I get a copy of my last renewal application?

National Notary Association

17 Feb 2015

Hi Melanie, So we can better assist you, can you please contact us at with more details of what documentation you need what state you are commissioned in and the best way to contact you, please? Thanks!

Jacqueline Hardges

17 Feb 2015

I'm a new NSA. This is great information.

12 Mar 2015

Let's clarify about SE taxes. The actual notary fees are exempt from Federal SE tax; however, just because you CAN take the SE exemption doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD. Taking the exemption can have affect your future Social Security benefits, as well as disability benefits. NSAs should review their situation with their CPA or EA to determine whether or not taking the exemption is best for them.

National Notary Association

12 Mar 2015

Hello. Information from the IRS regarding Notary fees and self-employment tax is available on page SE-5 at this link:

Charlotte Eddington

16 Jul 2015

Your comment about keeping accurate records, is great. They can help income tax preparation go a lot smoother. I also specifically like your comment about making a detailed log of your information, such as mileage. Thanks for sharing your information.


26 Jan 2016

The correct day to file your Income Tax Return is April 18, 2016 . Thank you!!!!

National Notary Association

27 Jan 2016

Thank you for letting us know! We've updated the stories to the correct date.

Beth Hancock'

27 Jan 2016

Speaking as an enrolled agent who is also a notary I wanted to point out that the home office does not need to be a separate room. You can get the deduction even if you use a portion. For example you have an open concept first floor of 1000 sq feet in your 2500 sq ft home. Your "office" is a corner comprising 50 square feet. You can use that 50 sq feet for calculating a deduction. Alternatively even if you have a separate room you may not be able to deduct the whole room. Let's say you remodel a 500 sq foot basement to use an office. Unless you can explain why you need such a large office, an auditor is likely to allow only a portion, especially if the main use of the office is only storage of notary supplies and bookkeeping


02 Mar 2016

Does a conference call, or phone calls only held in that location of your home qualify as a meeting place with and for your clients/customers?

National Notary Association

07 Mar 2016

Hello Evelyn. For questions regarding special case or unusual deduction claims, please contact a qualified tax preparer or tax advisor.

Fermin Marengo

04 Jun 2016

The ten days waiting (cooling of) period for a contract cancellation signed December 23, 2015, taking into consideration holidays of the 25th of December and January 1, 2016, when is the valid day for cancellation within the law?

National Notary Association

06 Jun 2016

Hello. We cannot provide legal advice regarding cancellation of a contract. Please consult a qualified attorney for assistance.

Gina Jamison

13 Feb 2017

Thank you for the information. This year is particularly tough. I bought a new car when my old car blew up. And I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to input this information. Any advise?

Judith S. McDanniel

01 Mar 2017

Is it true the first $600.00 one earns from each signing company is tax deductible ?

Sandy Kon

07 May 2017

I didn't find any mention of deducting fees for each notary seal in the publication. Is this even a real thing? I don't want to pay H & R Block $75 dollars to find out it isn't a real deduction. Thank you

National Notary Association

09 May 2017

Sandy, we're sorry but because every Notary's tax situation is different, you would need to speak to a qualified tax attorney or tax preparation professional to ask about any deductions regarding your Notary seal.


08 Jun 2017

I perform Notary acts at my current place of employment. At this time there are no fees (customer or non-customer) but my employer is considering charging a flat fee. Can my employer charge for my notary services?

National Notary Association

08 Jun 2017

Hi Jean. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Bo Ssekyanzi

21 Jun 2017

As a provider of Notary Public service, I depend on the income from this service as a small business operator. What items should I include on the IRS Tax form?

National Notary Association

21 Jun 2017

Hello. IRS Publication 17 has information on reporting notarization fees on your income tax:

Maria Ferrell

12 Feb 2018

This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. Tiger Financial Service provides insurance


26 Feb 2018

Notary Tax Info

Karen M Spain

03 Jan 2019

Is it safe to use 3rd party such as notary gadget to keep book keeping info for taxes

Irene Diaz

10 Feb 2019

This is a good start to collecting tax info... anything you need/use for your business can be written off....its possible to write off your lifestyle....good record keeping is the key!! And the knowledge of how.

ian greig

24 Mar 2019

Tax info for Notaries is difficult to find. Go to: IRS Publication 17. page SE-5, center column, Para 2.

Afton Jackson

19 Sep 2019

I highly agree that people consider keeping tax-related data is usually neglected. It does not hurt to keep track of records when your money is at stake. If facilitated well, these can highly benefit everyone in the business. If ever, I will need an enrolled agent to help meld my ideas in my small business.

Ardel Richter

20 Jan 2020

What business code should a Notary Signing Agent use when filing?

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2020

Hello. We apologize, but we cannot answer specific tax questions about your personal business situation. If you have tax questions about your business model, please contact the IRS or a qualified tax advisor for assistance.

Bode the Notary

21 Jan 2020

I am a certified tax preparer in CA. I have created a detailed spreadsheet in order to track all of my income and expenses from my business. For each signing, I take the fee paid and divide it by the number of notarizations. Any amount that is greater than the maximum of $15 a notarization (for CA) is considered regular business income. This is helpful to enter in the fee earned for each notarization in my notary journal. I can also track my cost for printing each loan package, travel mileage, tracking numbers, and when a job has been paid. I may post a template of my spreadsheet to YouTube if the response is great enough.

David Lawson

03 Feb 2020

I'm an engineer and I got my notary stamp on the side. If I choose to charge $5 per stamp, do I have to report that on my taxes even though it's not my job/business?

National Notary Association

05 Feb 2020

Hello. For general information on reporting Notary fee income, please see "Reporting Notarization Fees" above. We apologize, but we cannot provide specific advice about individual tax returns. If you need additional information about your personal tax situation, please contact a qualified tax preparer or tax advisor.

John Patrick Mead

11 Feb 2020

Bode the Notary...I'd be very interested in obtaining the spreadsheet you spoke of. I give the NNA permission to provide Bode the Notary, my contact info.

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We're sorry but for privacy reasons we cannot provide the contact information of persons posting here.


11 Feb 2020

Bode the Notary I also am interested in your spreadsheet. I give in and a permission for you to contact me also or for posting. Thank you!

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We're sorry but for privacy reasons we cannot provide the contact information of persons posting here.

Shelly Taylor

20 Apr 2020

I’m very much interested in viewing Bode the notary's spreadsheet. I have been a NSA for over 15 years and just learned about SE tax on notarizations in 2017 from the owner and developer of Venbooks notary software. I’m so thankful, through conversation, he informed me of SE tax as it pertains to notarizations. Luckily, I was able to have my CPA amend tax years 2015 and 2016 prior to the three year statute of limitations. The amendment of 2015 and 2016 tax years resulted in a return of over $10,000. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations has long since passed for tax years 2004 To 2014. I’m interested in learning how other NSA’s write off expenses. Currently, I record each page I print per signing, each notarization, and mileage to and from the closing address as well as mileage to and from UPS/Fedex. If other notaries record each page printed as an expense rather than price of paper purchased. How much do you allow per page as an expense? Ex: 100 pages at $.10 per page etc.... During all tax years beginning in 2004 to current I filed as a sole proprietor and a CPA prepared my taxes.

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. Any tax questions about your specific financial situation should be directed to the IRS or a qualified tax preparer.

Judy McCarty

29 Apr 2020

Hi I’m new at being a Notary. I’m thinking of doing NSA? I wanted to ask if we are doing this for self employment do I need to apply for a dba and a tax ID number? I want to make sure next years taxes are done right! Thank you for your attention to this matter!

National Notary Association

30 Apr 2020

Hi Judy.We would recommend contacting your local city or county agency that registers business names to find out if you are required to register a dba in your area. Any questions about your specific business income tax situation or applying for a tax ID number should be directed to the IRS or a qualified tax adviser/tax preparer.

Maureen Arndt

12 Oct 2020

Bode the Notary, I'd love to have access to your spreadsheet. I give NNA permission to provide Bode the Notary my contact information.

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We're sorry but for privacy reasons we cannot provide the contact information of persons posting here.


13 Oct 2020

Hi, I am a Loan signing notary in MD, we must have a Title Producer License, which costs a few hundred dollars to get (Mandatory 20 hour class + paying to take the test, requesting the license after passing the test). Are these fees tax deductible?

National Notary Association

16 Oct 2020

Hello. You would need to contact the IRS or a qualified tax professional to answer any questions about individual tax deductions.


14 Oct 2020

I was wondering if can you deduct notary stamps and recertification on taxes?

National Notary Association

16 Oct 2020

Hello. You would have to contact the IRS or a qualified tax professional to answer any questions about deductions for your personal income tax.

Johanna Pridgeon

05 Nov 2020

After reading the statement about the spreadsheet by Bode. I would like to have copy of the spreadsheet. Therefore, I give NNA permission to provide Bode my contact information. I’m thankful for all the information that I’m receiving to assist me on my journey. Thanks very much NNA!

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We're sorry but for privacy reasons we cannot provide the contact information of persons posting here.

Carol C

19 Dec 2020

Hi, Bode the Notary! I would definitely love access to your spreadsheet! How would that be possible? I give permission to the NNA yo provide my email. Thank you!

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We're sorry but for privacy reasons we cannot provide the contact information of persons posting here.


19 Dec 2020

Bode the Notary, I would love a copy of your spreadsheet as well. I give NNA permission to provide my contact information to Bode. Thank you and happy holidays!

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We're sorry but for privacy reasons we cannot provide the contact information of persons posting here.


04 Jan 2021

After reading the statement about the spreadsheet by Bode. I would like to have a copy of the spreadsheet. Therefore, I give NNA permission to provide Bode my contact information. Thank you for all the information that I’m receiving to assist me on my journey. Thanks very much NNA!

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We're sorry but for privacy reasons we cannot provide the contact information of persons posting here.


06 Feb 2021

Notary Earth tracks my notarization fees. Highly recommended.

David V Fuentes, GRI, Realtor, Notary Public

07 Feb 2021

All notaries do have 2 pieces of record keeping of fees paid: in the notary journal, your fee per signer (or 0 if no fee charged, like I do for individuals active or veterans in the armed forces) and a receipt for services rendered; example: travel fees, typing dictation, etc. other than that, your mileage and office space plus supplies. Easy peasy.


03 Mar 2021

How and where do I file my earnings as a part time notary signing agent on my tax return? I have a full time job and do the signings on the side. I found out the escrow company that I take the signings from does not issue out 1099 forms to any of the notaries they use.

National Notary Association

05 Mar 2021

Hello. We apologize, but we can only provide general tax information in this article. For assistance with specific individual tax return details, you will need to contact the IRS or a qualified tax preparer.


29 Apr 2021

Just look her up on Facebook and send her a private message. I just sent her one.

Debra K Johnson

17 May 2021

I am currently using Loan Signing income to supplement my Social Security income. Do I need to file taxes if I don't have and self employment taxes to pay ? and if so at what point.

National Notary Association

17 May 2021

Hello. Your best course would be to contact a qualified tax advisor or tax preparer, or the IRS to discuss your individual income tax situation.

Linda Kay Chandler

17 Jan 2022

Great Newsletter!!

Alfreda mae vincson

08 Aug 2022

I would like to know what the tax deductible for the seal and supplies that was brought and becoming an enrolled agent how do I do that I usually receive new letters I haven't received any yet the sensor while back now I will continue with my notifications

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2022

Hello. Please contact the IRS or a qualified tax professional regarding any questions about possible deductions for your individual tax situation.

Martha Sanchez

18 Nov 2022

Thank you, great information I'm new to NSA.

Judith Peterson

09 Jan 2023

I am finding that on your information/comment pages that the comments are not current. Don't you think that comments should be relevant to the times and not over a couple years old?

Angelica Gamboa

09 Jan 2023

I just open an office, where can I get the form to change business address?

National Notary Association

10 Jan 2023

Hello. If you are referring to notifying your state Notary agency of a change of address, please let us know what state you are in and we can provide the appropriate contact information.

Joie Ray

13 Jul 2023

Can a New Mexico notary public, who is mobile and online, charge sales tax? I called a Notary who said he charges sales tax on credit card transactions. How can I find information about the taxes i need to charge and pay as a Notary public LLC?

National Notary Association

31 Jul 2023

Hello. You would need to contact the IRS or a qualified tax advisor authorized to provide tax advice to answer questions about sales tax requirements for your business.

Terri Brown

20 Feb 2024

I am an active Notary around Charlotte areas looking for Loan signing opportunities and resources to get started. Can anyone answer? I appreciate it in advance.


22 Feb 2024

Great information much needed

David V Fuentes, GRI

22 Feb 2024

Who issues the 1099 NEC to the independent Notary for services rendered? The Escrow Or Title Co., the Lending institution or the signer on a Loan signing appointment? I have never seen any of those three sending me any 1099 NEC in my 25 years as a Loan Signing agent. Never, period. They just send me a check or pay with a credit card, after I send the person who made the order, my payment demand. The reason behind is that Escrow only issues the check, the lender does not order the signing, the Buyer and seller pays the 50/50 of the fees. None of them want that payment to show in their tax declaration….. ultimately: I have never seen a 1099 from any of them to me for services render; but I do have receipts and records of the assignment and I declare it on my 1040 schedule C


24 Feb 2024

Hello Bode the notary.. I would be interested in checking out your spreadsheet you made. Can you email it to me if you have the time and see this message! Also thank you for all the info it helps me out personally a lot and I am greatly appreciative for it. Thank you! Stay awesomeness everyone!


05 Apr 2024

Can someone tel what is Notary deduction per stat. Is that a deduction for taxes?

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2024

Hello. If you have questions about your personal tax returns, please contact the IRS or a qualified tax professional for assistance.


25 May 2024

newbies notary - wondering if each notary act is taxable ? should i be adding tax to the fees for services ?

National Notary Association

29 May 2024

Hello. If you have information about your individual income tax return, please contact the IRS or a qualified tax professional for assistance.

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