Small Business Tax Resources

Written by Bryce Allen
Business PlanningStartup FinanceTaxation
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Tax documents serve an important purpose as they provide essential records to tax authorities during tax season. Knowing which tax documents you’ll need to file for your startup or small business can seem like a daunting task, but with the right information it doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Taxes can be an overwhelming and daunting task for startups and small businesses. Although tax filing requirements can vary by business type, filing taxes generally requires tax documents to be organized and prepared according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines.

Staying organized with these documents is key to a successful tax filing season – an experienced tax professional or accountant can help ensure these items are updated correctly, minimizing potential audit risks.

Overview of relevant tax documents

Tax documents are a necessary part of running a business in the United States, and proper tax preparation is essential to getting the most out of tax returns. Startups and small businesses should make sure to have comprehensive tax records detailing income, expenses, payroll information, asset purchases, and any deductions or credits taken.

This includes tax forms such as: Form W-2 for employee wages, Form 941 for paying employer tax liabilities, 1099s for non-employee and independent contractor payments, 1098s for paid interest or mortgage payments made during the year, 1040 for personal tax filings that include income from all sources including self-employment income received through the business entity, and any other relevant statements detailing contributions made to retirement accounts or insurance policies.

It is important to familiarize yourself with this tax document list in order to understand which documents you need to successfully complete tax filing in the United States. With the right approach and information, you can make tax filing a more straightforward process.

Critical tax documents

A comprehensive list of tax-related documents includes items such as federal tax return forms, payment schedule forms, statements from financial institutions, income tax deductions summaries, tax withholding allowance basis worksheets and other records that indicate the income generated by a business. Additionally, companies need to keep detailed records of their expenses in order to properly calculate their capital gains or losses.

If your business is a C-corporation…

Paying taxes is essential for every C-corporation operating in the United States. To that end, tax documents must be correctly filed according to regulations. Depending on the size of the corporation, tax filing requirements vary. Additionally, state tax returns may need to be submitted in addition to federal ones if the corporation operates in multiple areas. We’ve broken down the specific requirements for C-corporations below.

  • C-Corporations must file a corporate tax return (Form 1120) every year.
  • C-Corporations must pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis (Form 1120-W).
  • C-Corporations must file an annual report (Form 10-K) with the Securities and Exchange Commission if they are publicly traded.
  • C-Corporations are also required to file a Form 1099-MISC for each vendor from whom they have purchased goods or services totaling $600 or more during the year.
  • C-Corporations may be required to file other forms, depending on their specific circumstances (e.g., Form 5471 if they have foreign shareholders).

The requirements regarding these tax filings vary based on factors such as size of the corporation and type of entities it has investors or owners in. Therefore, it is important for C-corporations to work with tax professionals in order to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. With relevant experience, these tax forms can easily be completed and filed in a timely manner so that the business remains compliant with tax authorities.

How can you best prepare?

Tax season can be a stressful time for small business owners, but with proper preparation it doesn’t have to be. The best way to prepare is to begin the tax filing process early, by gathering miscellaneous documents such as research & development expenses, payroll reports, financial statements and existing tax documents. Doing this early in the tax season will help streamline the tax preparation process, ensuring that your business remains tax-compliant. Don’t forget about the basics either – make sure to keep a record of basic business information like your IRS employer identification number handy to streamline tax preparation.

To further prepare yourself and your business for tax season, polish up on the particulars of forms that you’ll use! These forms can include Form 1040 and any variants, as well as any common attachments like Schedules A, B, C, D and SE. You should also take the time to reacquaint yourself with the forms that you’ll receive from your employer, bank or broker, like W-2, 1099 and its many variations. Proactively collecting key tax documents ensures you are ready for tax season no matter how hectic or unpredictable the year may have been.

Although it may seem early, now is the time to start collecting your documents and preparing for tax season. Gather all of the required documents before tax season starts so that you’re not scrambling at the last minute. By staying on top of your paperwork and scheduling an appointment with a professional early, you can avoid last-minute scrambling and save yourself a lot of stress come spring.

At Rooled, we specialize in small business taxes and can help you ensure that you’re taking advantage of all the deductions and credits you’re entitled to. Don’t let tax season get the best of you – start preparing now and let Rooled handle the rest. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make tax season painless for you.

About the Author

Bryce Allen

Bryce Allen is the Director of Tax at Rooled, Inc., in his 16th year of public accounting firm experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting at San Jose State University. R&D tax credit guidance is a key area of Bryce's expertise.