When you’re running a business, you don’t need to be a tax expert, but you do need some tax basics. We give you the information you need to stay tax compliant so your business can thrive. Put our knowledge to work for you:
- A good place to begin is the Starting a Business page.
- The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center has information on taxes, recordkeeping, accounting practices, completing federal business and employment tax returns, and meeting other federal tax obligations.
- Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop offers a series of lessons to help you learn about your tax rights and responsibilities.
- Subscribe to e-News for Small Businesses for free electronic mail service to help you stay up to date.
- Bookmark our Online Learning and Educational Products page. Choose products such as the Tax Calendar for Businesses and Self-Employed desktop tool and view videos on a variety of topics to help you learn even more about business taxes on your own time and at your own pace.
Your question is a state tax question. Your state revenue department should provide information regarding sales tax to you. See State Government Websites for more information.
Certain businesses may have to collect particular federal excise taxes, and then report the tax on Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return and deposit the amounts collected. See Publication 510, Excise Taxes.
You file a federal income tax return annually, but the federal income tax system is a pay-as-you-go system.
If your business is a sole proprietorship or an unincorporated single-member LLC with you as the sole owner, the income is attributable to you personally. If your business is a partnership, an unincorporated multi-member LLC, or an S corporation, the ordinary business income passes through to members and is attributable to them on their personal returns.
If you expect to owe more than the amount allowed by law at the end of the year after deducting any withholding and refundable credits:
- You should make quarterly estimated tax payments or increase the withholding on other income subject to withholding.
- Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals will assist you in determining if you need to make estimated tax payments, their due dates and how to pay them.
When you file your income tax return at the end of the year:
- Include the income from the business on your Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship), Schedule E (Form 1040), Supplemental Income and Loss, and/or Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax.
- If you made estimated tax payments during the year, claim them on your individual income tax return as a payment.
Generally, all other corporations must make installment payments if they expect their estimated tax for the year to be $500 or more. All corporations, except for most S corporations, will use Form 1120-W, Estimated Tax for Corporations as a worksheet to figure each required installment of estimated tax.
Some business entities' income tax returns have due dates other than April 15. The instructions for each type of form used will note the appropriate due date(s):
- A sole proprietor's Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship) and an individual farmer's Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming for income and expenses are attached to the Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Therefore, the due date is the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the tax year. This is generally April 15 for calendar year taxpayers.
- Most partnerships use the calendar year. The partnership tax return is generally due by the 15th day of the third month following the end of the tax year.
- An S corporation generally must use the calendar year, unless the entity can establish a business purpose for having a different tax year. The due date is the 15th day of the third month following the end of the tax year.
- A corporation that's not an S corporation may use either the calendar year or a fiscal tax year. The corporate tax return is due by the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the corporation's tax year.
Note: For any due date that falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the due date is extended to the next business day.