How to Calculate Small Business Quarterly Taxes

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Small businesses must file monthly or quarterly tax returns.
Small businesses must file monthly or quarterly tax returns. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

As a small business owner, you are responsible for a number of taxes, most of which are collected or reported quarterly. The federal and state government should send you the majority of these forms well before they are due or they are available on the internet. If they do not, it is your responsibility to submit the forms and any taxes owed before the due date.

Things You'll Need

  • payroll tax forms
  • calculator

Calculate your state unemployment (SUTA) taxes, if applicable. These will vary by state, so contact your state tax office (see link below) if you have not received the SUTA form to find out what your SUTA tax rate is and how to file and deposit your tax.

Calculate your federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes. If you paid more than $1,500 in wages in a year for an employee or you employed someone for 20 weeks in 2012 or 2013, you must pay FUTA tax. To calculate your tax, multiply each employee’s wages (up to $7,000) by .6%. However, if your state does not require an unemployment tax, that rate may be higher (as much as 6%). Wages over $7,000 are not subject to FUTA tax. FUTA deposits are made quarterly via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). However, you do not need to deposit your FUTA tax liability until it reaches $500. In that case, pay all FUTA tax by January 31 of the following year when you file IRS Form 940 or 940-EZ.

Calculate your quarterly sales tax if you do not report it monthly. To do this, add up all of your in state sales for the quarter. Multiply your sales by your state tax rate. Tax rates vary by county and city, so be sure to keep that in mind when determining what rate to use. If you choose to use your city’s rate, you may be slightly over or under. Visit your state’s tax commission website (see link below), to file your sales tax. If you have your state sales tax permit number, you will use this to file.

Complete and submit Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. If you did not receive a Form 941 by mail, download it online. Include the amounts withheld from employees’ pay for federal income tax for the quarter. Itemize the amounts you withheld and paid for Social Security and Medicare for the quarter. Pay the difference between the amount of tax due and what you have deposited. Include Form 941-V with your check if you have a balance due.

Prepare a quarterly withholding tax return for your state. Visit your tax commission website to download applicable forms.

Calculate your quarterly estimated tax payments if you anticipate a business federal income tax liability. To submit your payment, download a 1040ES and fill it out. Use your 2012 tax return as a guide. Also, download an estimated tax payment form for your state.

Tips & Warnings

  • Failure to report and pay your quarterly taxes when due may result in fines. When in doubt, contact a tax professional for help.

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