How to pay business taxes

How to pay business taxes

The way your business pays its Federal taxes depends on your business structure. This article lists what Federal Taxes are due throughout the year for each legal business structure. The deadline dates shown are for a calendar year. If your fiscal year has different starting and ending dates, you will have to call the IRS for your deadline dates.

Three business structures, sole proprietor, partnership and S corporations must file their Estimated Tax form (form 1040ES) four times a year. The deadlines are, January 15th, April 15th, June 15th, and December 15th. In order to find out if you have to make these payments, the first time you file this form, use the worksheet in the instructions to figure your estimated tax liability. Be sure to keep it for your own records and revise it if your actual income is a lot over or under your estimate.

If the total of your estimated tax and self-employment tax is over a certain amount (it was $1,000 but changes every year), you will have to make tax payments by the above dates. Don’t underestimate, you will be billed a penalty on the amount not paid. Read publication 505 for more information on this.

Before a corporation files form 1040ES, they must use form 1120W to figure out their estimated tax. This form isn’t sent to anyone. It is merely an information form for your records. The data computed, however, is used on the corporation’s 1040ES form. The same rules apply but the deadline dates differ. A corporation must mail their estimated tax data by April 15th, June 15th, September 15th, and December 15th. Publication 505 has all the information needed to get through these forms.

All four forms of business, if they have any employees (even one) have until January 31st to send a copy of each employee’s W-2 form to the Social Security Administration.

You, as the business owner (employer), have until January 31st to file form 940 (or 940EZ), which reports your annual FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax). Form 8109 is used to make deposits. Make sure you refer to Circular E, an employer’s tax guide, for lists of exclusions and types of employment not subject to this tax. Form 8109 must also be filed by April 30th, July 31st, and October 31st.

If any business (this refers to all four business entities) took on any independent contractors, form 1099-misc must be filed along with form 1096, (Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns), by February 28th. IRS Publication 15-A will fully explain why and how to do this form. Don’t forget to send the Social Security Administration forms W-2 and W-3 by the 28th Form W-3 must be filed to transmit the W-2 forms.

Both a Sole Proprietor and a Partnership have no Federal tax deadlines in March (as of 2004).

The other two forms of business, S Corporations and Corporations have until March 15th to file form 1120, (the income tax form for ordinary corporations), or 1120-A. 1120-A is a short form for corporations with income, gross receipts, and total assets all under $500,000. See publication 542 for the other requirements necessary for using 1120-A. Publication 542 also explains form 1120.

A Sole Proprietor and a Partnership have until April 15th to file their1040 Income Tax form together with Schedule C and Schedule SE. Use publication 334, a tax guide for small businesses, to fill these out. If your business is located in your home, no matter what form, you have to complete form 8829 (Expenses for Business Use of Your Home).

Each principle in a Partnership also must file form 1040, Schedules C and SE by April 15th. But, before either can do this, Form 1065, and its Schedules K and K-1 (Annual Return of Partnership Income) must be completed. This form is an information form since partnership profits aren’t taxed to the partnership. It does, however, have to be sent to the IRS by April 15th. The form tells each partner, and the IRS, what their distributive share of the profits or loss is. Each partner must report this figure on their income tax return whether or not they received it. Form 1065, Schedule K and K-1 must also be filed by April 15th.

Each individual S Corporation shareholder must file Form 1040 and 1040ES by April 15th.

These Federal Tax Forms are the most common that you, as a business, maybe liable for. There may be others, depending on the nature of your business. For example, a farm or co-op has other assets, liabilities, etc. that require reporting. If you fall into a special category, call the IRS and ask if there are other forms besides these that you must file. You also have state and local taxes due throughout the year that are beyond the scope of this article, Property tax and sales tax (for a retailer) are other taxes businesses must pay.

The easiest way to stay ahead in filing is to mark your calendar with these deadlines and make sure you have the necessary forms, instructions, and publications on hand at the start of your fiscal year.

The easiest way

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