Learn the basics of federal and state taxation.
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Two useful publications are a tax calendar (Publication 1518) as well as a “Tax Guide for Small Business” (Publication 334). Other useful IRS resources are “Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide” (Publication 15) and “Starting a Business and Keeping Records” (Publication 583). All are available on the IRS website.
Florida Department of Revenue
The site includes information on the various types of taxes. Forms and publications are available for download. Businesses may e-register and e-file for sales and use tax, unemployment tax and other taxes. In many cases, e-payment is also available.
Due: March 15 (if the business’s fiscal year corresponds to the calendar year)
C-Corporations pay income tax using federal form 1120. A limited liability company classified as a corporation for federal tax purposes must file a federal corporate income tax form.
An S-Corporation generally is not liable for federal income tax, but it must file a federal form 1120S annually and pay tax on certain investment income and capital gains. Returns are due by the 15th day of the third month after the close of the corporation’s fiscal year.
Employment Tax (Income, Medicare and Social Security)
Due: Monthly or semiweekly (in most cases)
Businesses that have employees must withhold federal income tax, Medicare tax and Social Security tax from employees’ wages. In most cases you pay the tax monthly or semiweekly, either by the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (required if deposits total more than $200,000 annually) or by using form 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupons. Report the tax on form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.
Small employers that have an employment tax liability of $1,000 or less for the year may now pay annually on Jan. 31. File form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return.
Due: January 31, April 30, July 31, October 31
Floridians are required to report wages and pay taxes to the Federal Unemployment Compensation program if they paid $1,500 in wages within a calendar quarter or have employed one or more people for any portion of a day in 20 different weeks during the calendar year. The tax rate is 6.2% on the first $7,000 of wages, but you can take a credit for the amount paid in state unemployment tax up to 5.4%, which is the maximum rate in Florida. If a business’s FUTA tax liability for a quarter is $500 or less, the tax may be held over to the next quarter and added to that quarter’s tax liability. Pay the tax either by the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by using form 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupons. Report the tax annually on federal form 940 or 940-PR (Spanish).