Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

Notary Bulletin

5 Income Tax Tips For Notaries And Signing Agents

Get five income tax tips for Notaries and Signing Agents.

Updated 1-14-20 with deadlines for the 2019 tax year. 

April is just around the corner, which means it's time for Notaries to get their income tax returns ready for the 2019 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 Gettysburg, 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-MISC

If you’re working as an independent contractor for different companies and lenders, you can expect to receive a 1099-MISC Form (for “Miscellaneous Income”) 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-MISC (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. 

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. 

2019 Tax Deadline Reminder

For this upcoming tax season, the deadline for individual tax returns for all states will be Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Additional Resources:

Notary Gadget


View All: Notary News


Add your comment


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.


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!

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.


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.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.