A Beginner’s Guide to Business Taxes

A Beginner’s Guide to Business Taxes

Understanding the basics of business taxes can save you both time, money and hassle during tax season. Depending on your location and structure of business operations, state, local or federal taxes may need to be paid as required.

Your company’s net profit determines its taxable income, and you can reduce tax liabilities by maintaining accurate records and stashing revenue into a savings account.


Taxes are an integral component of running any business and must be adhered to. They cover many aspects, such as income, expenses and sales; therefore it’s crucial that business owners understand all types of taxes in order to avoid costly mistakes and remain compliant with government law.

Taxes that a business is subject to depend on its structure, location and type of operation. Common examples include income tax, self-employment tax, property tax and sales and use taxes.

Small businesses face complex tax rules. Most of their taxes are tied directly to reported income of their owner and must be reported as part of their personal income tax return. Salaried employees split these taxes with their employer while small business owners must cover them all on their own.

Businesses are typically subject to payroll, excise, and real estate taxes which may be collected by local and state governments as well as by the federal government.


Many of the expenses that a business incurs can be deducted from its taxes. According to IRS classification rules, these expenses qualify as ordinary and necessary; companies must demonstrate how they pertain directly to their business operations. Common expense categories for deduction include rent, advertising and payroll payments as well as supplies, travel and entertainment costs. Large expenses like equipment may require financing so they can be written off over time.

Properly categorizing business expenses can help a small business qualify for tax deductions and lower its overall tax rate. The IRS subtracts allowed deductions from profit and multiplies them by the applicable tax rate to calculate taxable income. Monitoring expenses throughout the year helps small businesses better understand cash flow issues that may threaten survival, while providing information for future strategic planning purposes.


Revenue, or sales revenue, refers to the money a company generates through sales of products or services. Revenue can be measured using either price-to-sales ratios or gross profit margins and should be treated as an essential indicator in financial statements. It’s crucial that businesses understand how revenue calculations work so as to maintain financial sustainability and avoid unexpected surprises in their accounting reports.

Tax payments depend on several variables for businesses, including tax rate, deductions and credits available, type of business operation and operating structure. Understanding these fundamentals will enable small companies to avoid costly errors that could incur penalties from the IRS.

Business owners that operate as pass-through entities such as sole proprietorships or partnerships do not pay corporate taxes but instead report their business income on individual tax returns, taking advantage of lower individual tax rates while corporations are taxed at a much higher rate than individuals. Furthermore, each industry and locality has different tax regulations; therefore the amount a business owes depends on both industry and location factors.

Taxable income

Taxable income serves as the foundation of an income tax system and includes all forms of income received, such as money, property and services rendered; however, deductions vary by system and jurisdiction – for instance some may allow personal deductions and exemptions while others levy taxes only on earnings over certain thresholds or limit expenses accordingly.

Taxable income includes wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions as well as investment income and various forms of unearned income. It differs from adjusted gross income (AGI), which incorporates itemized and standard deductions to form the basis of all tax brackets and marginal rates.

Your annual taxable income affects how much tax you must pay, so it’s vital that you track this number and seek professional guidance in order to take full advantage of all deductions and credits available to you. Adjustments to income can help lower taxable income even without itemized deductions being claimed.

Author Image
Sydney Chadwick

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *