U.S. Taxes for Small For-Profit Businesses: A Guide

Sections of this topic

    Scope of Information in this Library Topic

    This library could include thousands of links to tax-related
    sites. As with other topics in the library, there are enough links
    included below to cover the basics and help the reader find more
    information if needed. Regarding federal taxes (the type of taxes
    most written about), the most comprehensive overviews are included
    in IRS Publications 17 and 334 (links to these are included below).
    Many federal tax-related links on the Web are to articles that
    are basically a rewrite of information that’s already in these
    two publications. Other types of taxes are reviewed below, too

    Sections of This Topic Include

    Educate Yourself — Key Guides to Get

    Basics — Overviews of Small Business
    Tax Management

    Tax Planning
    Importance of Good Record-keeping
    Do Your Own Taxes or Get Help?
    Federal Income Taxes Obligations
    Employee/Payroll Taxes Obligations
    State and Local Sales and Use Tax Obligations
    Other Taxes (Property, etc.)
    Special Topic — When Hiring, Need Independent
    Contractor or Employee?

    General Resources

    Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Sites
    Non-IRS Tax Information and Resources

    Also consider
    Related Library Topics

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to This Business Taxation

    In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs
    that have posts related to Business Taxation. Scan down the blog’s page to see
    various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar
    of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog.
    The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

    Business Planning Blog

    Library’s Building a Business Blog

    Educate Yourself — Key Publications For You to Get Started

    Whatever the condition of your business finances, always pay
    your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) states that small
    businesses pay four kinds of taxes: Income tax, Self-employment
    tax, Employment taxes, and Excise taxes. The form of business
    determines what kinds of taxes you’ll pay. (More on this later.)

    If the nature of your business is fairly consistent from year
    to year, you may be able to manage your business taxes by yourself.
    However, you may be better off the first year to hire a tax advisor.
    BUT, you should still be aware of the basic process — time spent
    studying taxes is time spent saving money! There are several basic
    publications from the IRS that you should get and review. The
    following 2 publications take about 3 hours to go through — it
    will be some of the best time you spend to save money for your
    business. The following section “Basics — Overviews of Small
    Business Tax Management” will help you, as well.

    Get and review these IRS free publications

    Federal Income Tax for Individuals (Publication 17)

    Guide for Small Business (Publication 334)

    Know the Legal Description of Your Business

    It matters whether you’re a sole proprietorship, partnership,
    corporation (and which type of corporation), limited liability
    corporation, etc. You probably know this already if you have registered
    your business with your state. Otherwise, review the materials
    in Enterprise

    Basics — Overviews of Small Business Tax Management

    After you’ve reviewed these publications, the following may
    be helpful for review.
    Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business

    Tax Planning — Various Perspectives

    Now that you’ve got some sense about business taxes, it’ll
    help to stand back and think about the best approach to managing
    your taxes.
    Tax Avoidance is Legal, Tax Evasion is Criminal
    Paying Taxes Quarterly Saves Time

    Importance of Good Record Keeping

    Good tax management starts with good record keeping, especially
    financial records. Be sure you’re familiar with financial records.

    Do Your Own Taxes or Get Help?

    If the nature of your business is fairly consistent from year
    to year, you may be able to manage your business taxes by yourself.
    However, you may be better off the first year to hire a tax advisor.

    3 Types of Bookkeepers: Do You Need One and Which is Best for Your Business?
    Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer
    to Find a Tax Preparer for Your Small Business

    Using a Payroll Service

    As a new business, you should strongly consider using a payroll
    service. This type of service can work with your tax advisor (or
    provide tax advice, as well) to ensure regular and accurate withholdings
    for various types of taxes. The service can also produce the reports
    needed to file your yearly taxes. You might get a recommendation
    for a service by calling your local association of certified public
    accountants or several businesses that are similar in nature to
    yours. Your local Chamber of Commerce may know several good sources,
    as well.

    Software Packages to Do Your Taxes

    Guide to Tax Preparation Software for Small Business

    Federal Income Taxes Obligations

    Understanding Federal Income Tax Obligations

    Employee/Payroll Tax Obligations

    (includes Federal, State and Local Taxes)

    Also see
    Online Payroll Taxes — Where to Get Help

    State and Local Sales Tax Obligations

    Understanding Your
    Sales Tax Obligations


    Tax Agencies

    State Taxes Obligations

    Tax Agencies

    Use Taxes

    Use Taxes

    Other Taxes (property)

    Other taxes

    Special Topic — When Hiring, Need Independent Contractor
    or Employee?

    The IRS seems increasingly skeptical about business use of
    independent contractors. The IRS is concerned, for example, that
    businesses might be avoiding employment taxes by using independent
    contractors instead. Therefore, businesses must be careful when
    determining if they should hire a contractor or an employee. The
    following link will help you in this regard.
    Consultants (hiring)

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Sites

    IRS General Information and Assistance Sites

    Help Desk

    IRS Telephone Numbers
    Tax Tips for Individuals

    IRS General Information for Small Businesses

    Tax Info for Businesses — home page of the IRS website for small

    IRS Online Preparation, Forms, Tables, Addresses

    e-file (preparing and filing taxes online)

    Online Forms and Guides

    Tax Tables

    and Paying Your Business Taxes

    State Tax Agencies

    U.S. Tax Code

    Tax Code Online

    Non-IRS Tax Information and Resources

    The following sites include a great deal of various types of
    information about business taxes.
    tax site

    Small Business
    Taxes and Management (provides misc. news and updates to tax laws)

    2018 State Business Tax Climate Index

    National Association
    for the Self Employed

    For the Category of Taxation (For-Profit):

    To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

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