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How to ensure that you use the right federal tax forms

Knowing what forms you should use when filing your federal income taxes depends on what kind of business you have. Here are some general guidelines t follow to ensure that you are filing the right federal forms for your type of business.

Self-employed/sole owner:
To file your federal income taxes you will need to fill out a Form 1040 along with a Schedule C or Schedule CZ, this form is due on April 15th following the end of the tax year. You will also need to file a Schedule SE to file your self-employment tax; this form should be filed with your Form 1040. If you are paying estimated tax you will need to file a Form 1040-ES and this form is due on the 15th day of the 4th, 6th, and 9th month of the tax year, as well as the 15th of the first month following the tax year.

Partnerships do not pay income taxes as a business, but they must file an annual information return to report income, deductions, gains, losses, profits, etc from its operations, instead the profits or losses are passed divided among the partners and they must report their share of the profit or loss in their individual income tax returns. To file an Annual Return of Income you must file a Form 1065 by the 15th day of the 4th month at the end the fiscal year. Each partner must be provided with a copy of Form 1065 so that they can file their own individual income taxes.

When paying taxes for a corporation the profit of the corporation is taxed to the corporation, but when the shareholders of the corporation are paid dividends they must pay an income tax on the dividends. Corporations have to file a Form 1120, 1120-A or an 1120S depending on if they are a corporation or an S-Corporation. These are due on the 15th of the 3rd month following the date the corporation's tax year ended. So if a corporation's tax year ends in December they would have to pay their taxes in March, but if they use a fiscal year it would not be due until three months after the fiscal year ends.

Forms every business would have to file:
Regardless of what type of business you have if you have employees you also have other forms that you need to file with the federal government. Form 941 or 944 needs to be filed to pay any Social Security and Medicare Taxes as well as income withheld from employees' paychecks. This form is due on April 30th, July 31st, October 31, and January 31 and can be filed electronically. You must also file a W-2 with the IRS by the last day of February to report the income that your employees have earned, as well as what taxes they have already paid. To pay Federal unemployment taxes companies must file a Form 940 on the same days as they have to file the Form 941. If your company uses contractors you must also file a Form 1099 to the IRS by the end of February.

Just keep in mind that these are only some basics forms that you might be required to file with the federal government. To ensure that you are filing all of the required forms for your taxes you will need to consult with a tax professional or use tax software that is designed for your type of business. You can also read more about the right tax forms for your business on the IRS website

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