How to File Small Business Taxes

In this guide, we’ll explore the significance of filing small business taxes, the types of taxes applicable, your tax responsibilities, tax assistance, identifying your business structure, and managing taxable income and business expenses.
how to file small business taxes
How to File Small Business Taxes
In this article, gain more knowledge on the importance of timely filing, tax kinds, and a complete guide to simplifying the process.
In this article
How to File Small Business Taxes
How to File Small Business Taxes 3

Filing taxes for your small business is crucial to maintaining your financial health and complying with government regulations. Understanding how to file small business taxes, you can stay organized, saving you time, money, and future legal issues.

Additionally, we’ll delve into the importance of making estimated tax payments.

Significance of Small Business Taxes

Taxes play an essential part in funding public services and infrastructure. For small businesses, accurate and timely tax filing guarantees compliance with tax laws and enables them to avoid penalties.

Properly managing your taxes also clarifies your business’s financial health and facilitates strategic decision-making.

Types of Taxes for Small Businesses

1Income Taxes
2Self-Employment Taxes
3Employment Taxes
4Sales Taxes
5Excise Taxes

Income Taxes: Federal and state income taxes are levied on your business’s profits. The form of business structure you choose will determine how your business is taxed.

Self-Employment Taxes: If you’re a sole proprietor or a partner, you’re responsible for paying self-employment taxes covering Social Security and Medicare.

Employment Taxes: If you have employees, you must withhold Social Security, federal and state income taxes, and Medicare taxes from their wages. Additionally, you may be required to pay unemployment taxes.

Sales Taxes: Depending on your location and business activities, you might need to collect and remit sales tax on goods and services.

Excise Taxes: Taxes on specific goods or services, such as alcohol, tobacco, or transportation-related activities.

Tax Responsibilities

Understanding your tax responsibilities is crucial, including keeping accurate financial records, knowing your filing deadlines, and staying informed concerning modifications in tax laws that may affect your business.

Identifying Your Business Structure

The structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation) affects how you report income and the taxes you pay. Consult with a tax expert to decide the most beneficial structure for your business.

Understanding Taxable Income and Business Expenses

Accurate reporting of taxable income and deductible business expenses is essential. Keep detailed records of income and expenses throughout the year to streamline the tax filing procedure.

Making Estimated Tax Payments

As a small business owner, you should make estimated tax payments quarterly. Ensure you’re paying taxes on income as it’s earned, helping you avoid underpayment penalties.

Which tax form do you fill out for small businesses 1
How to File Small Business Taxes 4

Filing Specific Tax Forms for Small Businesses

Small businesses in the United States often use different tax forms depending on their legal structure. Here’s a brief overview of the specific tax forms associated with standard small business structures:

Form 1040:

Used by: Sole Proprietorships, Single-Member LLCs

  • Description: Form 1040 is the individual income tax return form. Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs report their business income and expenditures on Schedule C, attached to Form 1040.
  • Key Points:
    • Write business profits and losses on Schedule C.
    • Include income and expenses from the business in the “Business Income” section of Form 1040.
    • Net business income is subject to both income tax and self-employment tax.

Schedule C

Used by: Sole Proprietorships, Single-Member LLCs

  • Description: Schedule C is a supplementary form to notify income or loss from a business run as an exclusive proprietorship or a single-member LLC.
  • Key Points:
    • Record gross income business expenses and calculate the net profit or loss.
    • Ordinary expenses include advertising, office supplies, utilities, and business-related travel.
    • The net profit or loss from Schedule C is transferred to Form 1040.

Form 1065:

Used by: Partnerships, Multi-Member LLCs

  • Description: Form 1065 reports a partnership’s income, deductions, and credits. It is an informational return, and the individual partners pay the tax.
  • Key Points:
    • Partnerships do not pay income tax directly; each partner reports their share of the income on their tax returns.
    • Attach Schedule K-1 to Form 1065, which details each partner’s share of the income, deductions, and credits.

Form 1120:

Used by: C Corporations

  • Description: Form 1120 is the U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return. C corporations utilize this form to declare their income, deductions, and tax liability.
  • Key Points:
    • C corporations are independent legal entities that pay taxes on their profits.
    • Shareholders report any dividends received on their tax returns.
    • Corporations may also need to file additional forms based on their activities.
Tax FormUser
Form 1040Sole Proprietorships, Single-Member LLCsIndividual income tax return form; Business income and expenses reported on Schedule C attached to Form 1040; Net business income subject to income and self-employment tax.
Schedule CSole Proprietorships, Single-Member LLCsSupplementary form for reporting income or loss; Records gross income, business expenses, and calculates net profit or loss; Net profit or loss transferred to Form 1040.
Form 1065Partnerships, Multi-Member LLCsReports partnership income, deductions, and credits; Partners report their share of income on individual tax returns; Attach Schedule K-1 detailing each partner’s share.
Form 1120C CorporationsU.S. Corporation Income Tax Return; C corporations declare income, deductions, and tax liability; Independent legal entities paying taxes on profits; Shareholders report dividends on their tax returns.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing Small Business Taxes

Filing small business taxes involves several vital steps to ensure exactness and compliance with tax regulations.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the process of how to file small business taxes:

Step 1: Gathering Essential Information

Financial Records

  • Income Documentation:
    • Gather records of all sources of income, including sales, services, and any other revenue streams.
    • Collect 1099s and W-2s for income received from clients or employers.
  • Expense Documentation:
    • Compile all receipts and invoices for business expenses.
    • Categorize expenses such as office supplies, utilities, rent, and employee wages.
  • Bank Statements:
    • Review and organize your business bank statements to verify transactions and reconcile accounts.

Business Information

  • Legal Structure:
    • Confirm your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation) as it determines the appropriate tax forms.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN):
    • Have your EIN ready, especially if you have employees or operate as a corporation.
  • Previous Year’s Tax Return:
    • Refer to your prior year’s tax return to identify carryover items and ensure consistency.

Step 2: Determining Taxable Income

Gross Income Calculation

  • Sales and Revenue:
    • Sum up all your sales and revenue for the tax year.
  • Other Income Sources:
    • Include any interest, dividends, or other non-operational income.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

  • Deductible Business Expenses:
    • Subtract eligible business expenses from gross income to calculate AGI.
    • Standard deductions include rent, utilities, insurance, and office supplies.
  • Depreciation:
    • Account for depreciation on business assets.

Step 3: Identifying Tax Deductions

Common Deductions

  • Home Office Deduction:
    • If applicable, calculate the home office deduction based on the square footage of your home used for business.
  • Vehicle Expenses:
    • Deduct business-related vehicle expenses using the actual expense method or the standard mileage rate.
  • Health Insurance Premiums:
    • Include deductions for health insurance premiums paid on behalf of employees or yourself.
  • Retirement Contributions:
    • Consider contributions to retirement plans for potential deductions.

Step 4: Selecting the Appropriate Tax Form

Sole Proprietorship or Single-Member LLC

  • Form 1040:
    • Use Form 1040 to report business income and expenses.
    • Attach Schedule C to detail business profits and losses.

Partnership or Multi-Member LLC

  • Form 1065:
    • File Form 1065 to report partnership income, deductions, and credits.
    • Provide per partner with a Schedule K-1 detailing their share of income.


  • Form 1120:
    • Complete Form 1120 to report C corporation income.
    • Shareholders report dividends on their tax returns.

Additional Considerations

  • Estimated Tax Payments:
    • If applicable, make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid penalties.
  • Filing Deadlines:
    • Be aware of federal and state filing deadlines to prevent late penalties.
  • Professional Assistance:
    • Consider consulting with a tax expert or accountant for complex situations.


In conclusion, proactive planning, attention to detail, and staying informed are crucial for successfully filing small business taxes. By observing these steps and seeking expert guidance when needed, you can know how to file small business taxes efficiently and make informed financial decisions to support the growth and sustainability of your business.

When filing small business taxes, the Profit and Loss Statement is your financial storyteller. It’s the guide for assessing your business’s operational performance and overall financial health. Check out Beem Tax Calculator to get a quick and accurate estimate of your federal and state tax refund for free.


Are small businesses taxed in the United States?

It depends on the company’s size and whether it is a corporation or a pass-through organization.

What is the best approach to filing taxes in the United States?

Selecting Direct Deposit and filing electronically for your tax refund is the quickest and safest way to get your money. Tax returns submitted electronically are received within 24 hours, but paper tax returns take weeks.

How much does submitting a tax return in the United States cost?

An average fixed cost of $323 was charged for filing Form 1040 with Schedule A to itemize personal deductions and a state income tax return. Form 1040, with the standard deduction and a state income tax return, costs an average of $220.

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This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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