The Documents Needed for Small Business Taxes

To pay your small business taxes on time and stay out of trouble, you need to keep track of various documents that provide information you must provide on your tax forms. To have these documents ready when you need them, create and maintain a filing system for your business records.

  1. Expense Receipts

    • To file small business income taxes, you will need a detailed record of all of your business expenses. Keep receipts from all business expenditures, arrange them chronologically and file them periodically so you will be able to find them when you need them. Keep a petty cash book as a record of small cash purchases. Also keep expense records related to your vehicle, such as receipts for gas, maintenance and repairs. Alternately, keep a mileage log recording the miles that you drive for all business-related trips.

    Sales Receipts

    • Keep business sales receipts to document your gross income when you file and pay small business taxes. Sales receipts may include cash register tape as well as tallies when you close out your register at the end of the day. If your business offers a service, you will need copies of all customer invoices. Organize these sales receipts by week or by month, depending on your volume of business. Also keep bank statements for your tax records to document your claims about your income.


    • Distill the information in your sales and purchase receipts into ledgers, which are invaluable documents when you prepare your small business taxes. A ledger is a spreadsheet that breaks your income or expenses into categories and provides a format for you to tally these numbers. Income categories include wholesale and retail, or sales and services. Expense categories include payroll, supplies, rent and equipment. Track these expenses and sources of income month by month, and calculate annual totals.

    Payroll Documents

    • To prepare payroll tax documents, you will need copies of all of your payroll records. These include employee time sheets as well as spreadsheets tracking hours worked, gross income, taxes withheld from employee paychecks and records of federal tax deposits documenting how much you have already paid towards your payroll tax obligation. If you have overpaid or underpaid during a previous quarter, you will also need a record of this overpayment or underpayment to make necessary adjustments.

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