You know what they say about death and taxes. If you generate income, own property, buy goods, or hire employees, you will most likely have to pay taxes. Many resources are available when it comes to understanding taxes. It is important to the success of your business that you pay only your fair share.
All businesses except partnerships must file an annual income tax return. Partnerships file an information return. The form you use depends on how your business is organized. Refer to Business Structures to find out which returns you must file based on the business entity established.
The federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax. You must pay the tax as you earn or receive income during the year. An employee usually has income tax withheld from his or her pay. If you do not pay your tax through withholding, or do not pay enough tax that way, you might have to pay estimated tax. If you are not required to make estimated tax payments, you may pay any tax due when you file your return. For additional information refer to Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records.
Generally, you must pay taxes on income, including self-employment tax (discussed next), by making regular payments of estimated tax during the year. For additional information, refer to Estimated Taxes.
Self-employment tax (SE tax) is a social security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. Your payments of SE tax contribute to your coverage under the social security system. Social security coverage provides you with retirement benefits, disability benefits, survivor benefits, and hospital insurance (Medicare) benefits.
Generally, you must pay SE tax and file Schedule SE (Form 1040) if either of the following applies.
Note: There are Special Rules and Exceptions for aliens, fishing crew members, notary public, State or local government employees, foreign government or international organization employees, etc. For additional information, refer to Self-Employment Tax.
When you have employees, you as the employer have certain employment tax responsibilities that you must pay and forms you must file. Employment taxes include the following:
For additional information, refer to Employment Taxes for Small Businesses.
This section describes the excise taxes you may have to pay and the forms you have to file if you do any of the following.
Form 720 - The federal excise taxes reported on Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return (PDF), consist of several broad categories of taxes, including the following.
Form 2290 - There is a federal excise tax on certain trucks, truck tractors, and buses used on public highways. The tax applies to vehicles having a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. Report the tax on Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return (PDF). For additional information, see the instructions for Form 2290 .
Form 730 - If you are in the business of accepting wagers or conducting a wagering pool or lottery, you may be liable for the federal excise tax on wagering. Use Form 730, Monthly Tax Return for Wagers (PDF), to figure the tax on the wagers you receive.
Form 11-C - Use Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering, to register for any wagering activity and to pay the federal occupational tax on wagering.