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How do business pay tax?

Updated: Oct 17, 2022





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Businesses are responsible for paying taxes on the revenue they bring in. The type of business you run will determine how much tax you need to pay and what kinds of tax returns you need to file. How much you pay in taxes depends on your business’s accounting processes, income, and expenses. Each state has its own rules regarding what expenses qualify as deductible when calculating taxable income and gross earnings. Keeping track of how much tax your business needs to pay is essential to avoid any unnecessary penalties or fines. Readers who are starting a new business or thinking about expanding their current business may find this article helpful when it comes to understanding taxes for an LLC or corporation. Both types of businesses have different tax implications, so learning about them before either making the decision to incorporate or make another change will help save money down the road with knowledgeable planning now. Keep reading to learn more about taxes as a limited liability company (LLC) vs corporation


LLC Taxes

Limited Liability Companies are taxed as pass-through entities. This means that the business itself does not pay taxes. Instead, the owners report their share of profits and losses on their personal tax returns. The IRS does not provide specific tax rates for LLCs, but the tax rate for sole proprietorships may be a good approximation. For sole proprietors, the taxable income is the same as gross income. Income is not taxed at the corporate level; instead, it is “passed through” the business and taxed at the individual level. The exception to the rule is when an S corporation is involved; in this case, the business is taxed at the corporate level and the owners are taxed again at the individual level.


Corporation Taxes

Corporations are taxed as separate entities. The corporation itself pays taxes on its revenues, and then shareholders report any profits distributed to them as dividends on their individual tax returns. Corporations are taxed at a different rate than individuals. The tax rate depends on the type of corporation and the type of business you’re in. Most small businesses are taxed at the same rate as individuals. The amount of taxes a corporation pays can be reduced by taking advantage of deductions and credits. Keep in mind that corporations must pay both federal and state taxes. Taxes are due on an annual basis, and many corporations use the calendar year for accounting purposes. Small corporations that expect to owe $100,000 or less in taxes can file an abbreviated tax form called the Form 1120-S. Corporations that expect to owe more than $100,000 must file a Form 1120. Corporations that have a March 31 fiscal year end are required to file their tax returns by the following September 15.


Taxable vs. Non-Taxable Income

When calculating taxable income, you add up the total amount of revenue your business brings in and then subtract your expenses. The difference is your taxable income and determines how much tax you have to pay. Certain items, such as investment income, gifts and donations, and prizes won, are not taxed. Other items, called taxable income, are taxed at the applicable rates. Businesses that sell products or provide services must pay taxes on the revenue those products or services generate.


Deductible Taxes for Corporations

Corporations can deduct various expenses from their gross income and get a deduction. Depending on your industry, there are many common deductions that are allowed for corporations. Some of the most common are those associated with your administrative and legal costs, health insurance and other benefits, travel expenses, and workers’ compensation insurance. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides a list of common deductions and credits available. Some business expenses are not deductible and should not be listed on your tax return. To ensure that your business deductions are valid, it is critical to record them accurately. Tax software programs can help you track your business expenses and generate an accurate net income.


Final Words

The IRS encourages all taxpayers to be honest when reporting their income and expenses for the year. However, it is important to remember that taxpayers must follow the law when filing their taxes. If you fail to report all of your income, misclassify your expenses, or fail to pay the correct amount of taxes, you could be facing significant penalties or even criminal charges. Therefore, it is critical that you understand what is taxable and deductible in your business and report it accurately.

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