Key Terms

Business Tax Basics

This section provides answers to frequently asked questions on several small-business tax topics, such as Employer Identification Numbers, filing and paying your business taxes, avoiding problems and links to small business resources.

Small Business Tax Calendar

The Small Business Tax Calendar is a 12-month calendar filled with useful information on general business taxes, electronic filing and paying options, business publications and forms, and common tax filing dates. Each page highlights different tax issues and tips that may be relevant to small business owners.

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Retirement Plans

Retirement plans have economic, business and tax advantages for your business, for your employees and for you. A retirement plan may give you an important competitive edge in attracting and keeping the best employees - and help you plan for your own retirement years. 

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Employer ID Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity. 

Effective May 21, 2012, the IRS will begin issuing only one EIN per responsible party each day, a change from the current limit of five per day. This limit applies to all requests for an EIN whether online or by phone, fax or mail. This ensures fair and equitable access to all applicants with legitimate tax administration-related needs and allows the EIN system to continue to operate effectively. Find out if you need an EIN and how to apply for one.

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Unless you are a professional bookkeeper, you probably don’t like spending valuable business time recordkeeping. But keeping good records can actually help you save time and money, and can make filing taxes easier. Learn about good recordkeeping practices.

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Business Name Change

If your business name has changed, you’ll need to notify the IRS. Business owners and other authorized individuals can submit a name change. This page provides an explanation for businesses on how to make a name change.

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Businesses with Employees

Businesses with employees have special tax considerations. Find resources on hiring, recordkeeping and other topics such as employment taxes and wage reporting requirements.

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Accounting Periods and Methods

When it comes to accounting periods and methods, all businesses must use a consistent accounting method to keep track of taxable income. Find out if you’re using the correct accounting method.

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What is Taxable and Nontaxable Income?

When determining what is taxable and nontaxable income, it's important to know you can receive income in the form of money, property, or services. This section lists many kinds of income that are considered taxable or nontaxable.

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Filing and Paying Your Business Taxes

Filing and paying your business taxes is a necessary part of running a business in the United States. Learn about business taxes you may have to pay, forms you may have to file and taxpayer identification numbers.

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Estimated Taxes

Federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax. You must pay the tax as you earn or receive income during the year. There are two ways to pay as you go: withholding, and estimated taxes.

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Business Expenses

You can deduct the cost of operating your business, also known as business expenses. These are costs you do not have to capitalize or include in the cost of goods sold.

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Business Tax Credits

Find common forms for claiming business tax credits, and a brief explanation about when carryovers, and credits cease.

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Intangible Property is property that has value but cannot be seen or touched. Generally, you can either amortize or depreciate intangible property.

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Changing Your Business Structure

There are tax implications related to the various types of business structures and changing your business structure. It is also important to understand a business' responsibilities when closing a business, selling a business, or declaring bankruptcy.

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Avoiding Problems

Avoid problems with your taxes and the IRS. Learn about good recordkeeping systems, cash vs. accrual accounting methods, and get tips on understanding their IRS notice.

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Closing a Business

There is more involved in closing a business than just locking the doors. This section provides tax information and procedures for getting out of business, including what forms to file and how to handle additional revenue received or expenses you may incur.

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Small Business Resources

Find links to a broad range of small business resources across federal and state agencies, as well as links to industry-related, private sector agencies and organizations.

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Your Guide to an IRS Audit

Access ten video lessons and related materials that provide basic information regarding the small business audit process.

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Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop

The Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop is composed of nine interactive lessons designed to help new small business owners learn their tax rights and responsibilities.

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Form W-2 Reporting of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. Employers that provide "applicable employer-sponsored coverage" under a group health plan are subject to the reporting requirement. This includes businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and federal, state and local government entities (except with respect to plans maintained primarily for members of the military and their families).

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