The performance of functions of a public office is excluded by the Social Security law from the term "trade or business." A "public office" includes any elective or appointive office of the Federal Government, of a State or its political subdivisions, or of a wholly-owned instrumentality.
Public offices not considered a trade or business include, among many others, the President, the Vice President, members of the President's Cabinet, governors, mayors, members of Congress, State representatives, county commissioners, judges, county or city attorneys, marshals, sheriffs, registrars of deeds, and notaries public.
If a public official engages in an activity that is not part of the function of the public office, the income from that activity may be covered.
A public official may be covered as an employee of a State or local government under the conditions set out in Chapter 10
The President, the Vice President, members of the President's Cabinet, and members of Congress, among others, are covered as employees of the Federal Government effective January 1, 1984. (See §940.)
Last Revised: March, 2001
Social Security Handbook