How do I File Taxes for Businesses?

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Business taxes worry some new business owners, but they follow a strict set of guidelines set by the Internal Revenue Service and do not need to be much more complicated than ordinary taxes, especially for small businesses. If a business owner does not think he has the right skills to manage business taxes, he can hire an outside accountant to do the work, but the process of filing is fairly simple and can be accomplished with several key steps.

EIN

EIN stands for the owner's Employee Identification Number. This number is assigned to all larger businesses when they first start, and are necessary for the IRS to track the business. Typically, they are only required for businesses that hire employees and must pay employee-related taxes.

Employees

If the business owner has employees, then these employees must fill out basic tax forms that the employee needs to file as part of their business taxes. Most employees need to fill out the I-9 and the W-4 forms, and occasionally the W-5 form for advanced earned income credit payments. The owner must include these forms when they file.

Accounting Methods

When owners start a business, they must choose an accounting method. Most businesses choose the accrual method or the cash method, depending on what type of business they operate. This makes it easier for businesses to keep accurate track of profits, and the IRS expects only one type of method to be shown when owners file.

Taxes

Owners must file forms on a variety of taxes for their business. Tax programs designed to walk business owners through this process are very helpful, since they narrow down the forms needed with a few simple questions. However, in general owners must pay estimated taxes throughout the year, self-employment taxes, employment taxes for employees (Social Security, Medicare) and possibly excise taxes.

Deductions

Along with the forms that businesses use to file taxes, there are also sections for deductions. It is important for owners to go through these sections and calculate any deductions they qualify for based on their business activity in the applicable tax year.

E-Filing

The easiest way to file business taxes is by e-filing. Most tax software programs will automatically e-file for owners, saving the trouble. The IRS also has an e-filing option on its website that makes it easy for businesses to send in all necessary information immediately. Physical filing may be necessary if the IRS needs proof of a certain document.

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