As a small business owner, you know that a lot goes into successfully building, running, and managing a business. Regardless of your industry or the size of your small business, one thing is consistent for every small business owner — taxes. Just as employees must file a federal and/or state tax return for their income, businesses must file tax returns every year for theirs. Filing taxes for your small business can be complicated and confusing if you’re new to the process.
In this article, we’ll go over the various small business tax forms to give you a better idea of which forms you may need to file depending on how your business is set up.
New Small Business Form
If you’ve just started your new small business, congratulations! One of the first small business tax forms you may need to fill out is Form SS-4.
Form SS-4 is your application for an employer identification number, or EIN. This nine-digit number is like a Social Security number for your business and is used by the IRS to help identify your business for tax filing and reporting purposes. For some business owners who act as sole proprietors, their personal Social Security number can be used in lieu of an EIN.
The following forms are needed for small businesses that employ people.
- Form 1099-MISC. This form is used if your small business has paid a contractor — not an employee — a minimum of $600 for services performed, products, or for other unique reasons throughout the year as outlined by the IRS.
- Form W-2. This form is used if your small business has paid an employee $600 or more throughout the year.
- Form 940. This form reports your small business’s annual Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax. This form is filed once per year.
- Form 941. This form is similar to Form 941, but it reports federal income tax withholding and Federal Insurance (FICA) taxes and is filed quarterly.
The forms listed below are applicable for nearly every small business, as they help report business expenses to the IRS and help you determine how much tax you owe.
- Form 1040-ES. This form helps you calculate and pay your estimated taxes, including taxes on business profits as well as self-employment taxes.
- Form 1040 Schedule C. A part of Form 1040, Schedule C is a form that reports your business income and loss. Schedule C is where small business owners typically enter their small business expenses. Sole proprietors can also use this form to list business profit and expenses.
- Form 1065. For small businesses that include partnerships, this form is used to report financial details such as income, losses, gains, credits, deductions, and more.
- Form 1120. If your business is a standard corporation, this form is used to report financial details like income, losses, gains, credits, deductions, and more.
- Form 1120-S. If your business is an S corporation, this form is used to report financial details like income, losses, gains, credits, deductions, and more.
- Form 4562. If your business has valuable property (expensive equipment, furniture, vehicles, or other property) that is subject to depreciation (decrease in value over time), this form is used to report that depreciation.
- Form 8829. If you use a portion of your home for your small business, this form claims a deduction for that. The IRS has specific criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for this deduction, including that the area must be used regularly and exclusively for business purposes.
The following small business tax forms are not specific to employees or expenses; rather they are general and may apply to some, but not all, small businesses at various times.
- Form 2553. If your corporation-eligible business is electing to become an S corporation, use this form.
- Form 7004. This form is used if your small business requires an automatic filing extension.
- Form 8822-B. This form is used to notify the IRS of a change of business address or a change in the party responsible for the business.
The small business tax forms listed below are specialized forms that only apply to specific circumstances.
- Form 2210. This form is used to determine if your small business owes a penalty for underpayment of estimated quarterly taxes. If there is a penalty, this form will determine the amount.
- Form 5329. This form is used to report additional taxes on IRAs as well as other qualified retirement savings plans, modified endowment contracts, Coverdell ESAs, QTPs, Archer MSAs, or HSAs.
- Form 8606. This form is used to report non-deductible traditional IRA contributions; SEO or SIMPLE IRA contributions; conversions from traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs to Roth IRAs; and distributions from Roth IRAs.
Cerity — We’re Here For Small Businesses
At Cerity, we understand that running a small business can be complex. From filing taxes to navigating the complicated world of commercial insurance, we know small business owners have a lot on their plates.
That’s why we’re here to support you along the way by offering a faster, more affordable, and more flexible way to get a workers’ comp quote — so you can quickly get the coverage you want and focus your attention on more important things like running your business. Get a free workers’ compensation quote with our free online quote tool.