This article will guide you through the small business tax maze and describe in details the various tax types your small business may be expose to. Use the article to learn which federal and state taxes you, as the owner of a sole proprietorship, general member in an LLC or officer of an S. Corporation is responsible for.
Federal Income Tax
The Internal Revenue Code (the IRC) is the source for imposing income tax on small businesses. The tax code treats each entity type a little different but in the end the income tax on the business taxable profits is payable by the small business owner. Sole Proprietor has to file schedule C to report business income and expenses and then report the taxable income on form 1040 where he discloses all of his income sources. Member of a partnership or an LLC reports his/her share from the business taxable income on form 1040 and Owner of an S. Corporation does the same. The rates of the federal income tax that a small business owner will pay depend on his/her filing status and residency status. For current tax rates please refer to IRS Publication 17 To register with the IRS you must fill out IRS form SS4 to obtain Employer ID Number (EIN).
State Income Tax
If your business is operating in a state that imposes income tax on business income, you will be liable for that tax in addition and regardless of the federal tax due on the same income. Very few States (Seven to be exact) do not impose income tax and among them are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Two others, New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income. In general state income tax rates range from the lowest rate of 3% in Illinois to the highest rate of 11% in Hawaii. To register with each State’s Department of Revenue, you must complete the applicable registration forms to obtain State Tax ID Number.
Payroll taxAs soon as your business start hiring part or full time employees, it will be subject to Federal & State tax withholding from the employees’ gross wages (For current Federal Withholding rates please refer to IRS Publication 17 and for the Stare withholding rate, please refer to the State’s Revenue or Finance department), Social Security, also known as FICA (currently at 6.2% of gross wages is the employer’s responsibility and the same amount is the employee’s contributions with cap of $106,800 on gross wages) and Medicare (currently at 1.45% of gross wages is the employer’s part and the same amount is the employee’s contributions), Federal & State income tax withholding (at the rates publishes by the IRS and each State’s department of Revenue), Federal Unemployment, also known as FUTA (currently at a rate of 0.008 of gross wages up to $7,000 per year) and State Unemployment, also known as SUTA, at rates assessed by each State Unemployment Insurance Department. To register with each State, you should complete an employer application with the Department of Revenue and open an account with the State’s Unemployment Insurance Department.
Sales tax is tax imposed on gross sales made to end users (as appose to resellers who purchase the product for inventory) and has many names: transaction privilege tax, gross receipts tax, general excise tax and more. The tax is imposed by each State, and in many cases includes Base Rates for all States residents and then additional rates that vary by county and city. Rates of sales tax vary by States with few States that impose zero percent tax (such as Delaware, Montana & Oregon) and others that impose rates in excess of 10% (such as Chicago Illinois)
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