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Hand r block online Publication 583 - Main Content Table of Contents What New Business Owners Need To Know Forms of BusinessMore information. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online Exception—Community Income. Hand r block online Exception—Qualified joint venture. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online Identification NumbersEmployer Identification Number (EIN) Payee's Identification Number Tax Year Accounting Method Business TaxesIncome Tax Self-Employment Tax Employment Taxes Excise Taxes Depositing Taxes Information Returns PenaltiesWaiver of penalty. Hand r block online Business ExpensesBusiness Start-Up Costs Depreciation Business Use of Your Home Car and Truck Expenses RecordkeepingWhy Keep Records? Kinds of Records To Keep How Long To Keep Records Sample Record System How to Get More InformationInternal Revenue Service Small Business Administration Other Federal Agencies What New Business Owners Need To Know As a new business owner, you need to know your federal tax responsibilities. Hand r block online Table 1 can help you learn what those responsibilities are. Hand r block online Ask yourself each question listed in the table, then see the related discussion to find the answer. Hand r block online In addition to knowing about federal taxes, you need to make some basic business decisions. Hand r block online Ask yourself: What are my financial resources? What products and services will I sell? How will I market my products and services? How will I develop a strategic business plan? How will I manage my business on a day-to-day basis? How will I recruit employees? The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that can help you answer these types of questions. Hand r block online For information on how to contact the SBA, see How to Get More Information, later. Hand r block online Forms of Business The most common forms of business are the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Hand r block online When beginning a business, you must decide which form of business to use. Hand r block online Legal and tax considerations enter into this decision. Hand r block online Only tax considerations are discussed in this publication. Hand r block online Your form of business determines which income tax return form you have to file. Hand r block online See Table 2 to find out which form you have to file. Hand r block online Sole proprietorships. Hand r block online   A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business that is owned by one individual. Hand r block online It is the simplest form of business organization to start and maintain. Hand r block online The business has no existence apart from you, the owner. Hand r block online Its liabilities are your personal liabilities. Hand r block online You undertake the risks of the business for all assets owned, whether or not used in the business. Hand r block online You include the income and expenses of the business on your personal tax return. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online   For more information on sole proprietorships, see Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. Hand r block online If you are a farmer, see Publication 225, Farmer's Tax Guide. Hand r block online Partnerships. Hand r block online   A partnership is the relationship existing between two or more persons who join to carry on a trade or business. Hand r block online Each person contributes money, property, labor, or skill, and expects to share in the profits and losses of the business. Hand r block online   A partnership must file an annual information return to report the income, deductions, gains, losses, etc. Hand r block online , from its operations, but it does not pay income tax. Hand r block online Instead, it “passes through” any profits or losses to its partners. Hand r block online Each partner includes his or her share of the partnership's items on his or her tax return. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online   For more information on partnerships, see Publication 541, Partnerships. Hand r block online Husband and wife business. Hand r block online   If you and your spouse jointly own and operate an unincorporated business and share in the profits and losses, you are partners in a partnership, whether or not you have a formal partnership agreement. Hand r block online Do not use Schedule C or C-EZ. Hand r block online Instead, file Form 1065, U. Hand r block online S. Hand r block online Return of Partnership Income. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 541, Partnerships. Hand r block online Exception—Community Income. Hand r block online   If you and your spouse wholly own an unincorporated business as community property under the community property laws of a state, foreign country, or U. Hand r block online S. Hand r block online possession, you can treat the business either as a sole proprietorship or a partnership. Hand r block online The only states with community property laws are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Hand r block online A change in your reporting position will be treated as a conversion of the entity. Hand r block online Exception—Qualified joint venture. Hand r block online   If you and your spouse each materially participate as the only members of a jointly owned and operated business, and you file a joint return for the tax year, you can make a joint election to be treated as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership for the tax year. Hand r block online Making this election will allow you to avoid the complexity of Form 1065 but still give each spouse credit for social security earnings on which retirement benefits are based. Hand r block online For an explanation of "material participation," see the Instructions for Schedule C, line G. Hand r block online   To make this election, you must divide all items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit attributable to the business between you and your spouse in accordance with your respective interests in the venture. Hand r block online Each of you must file a separate Schedule C or C-EZ and a separate Schedule SE. Hand r block online For more information, see Qualified Joint Venture in the Instructions for Schedule SE. Hand r block online Corporations. Hand r block online   In forming a corporation, prospective shareholders exchange money, property, or both, for the corporation's capital stock. Hand r block online A corporation generally takes the same deductions as a sole proprietorship to figure its taxable income. Hand r block online A corporation can also take special deductions. Hand r block online   The profit of a corporation is taxed to the corporation when earned, and then is taxed to the shareholders when distributed as dividends. Hand r block online However, shareholders cannot deduct any loss of the corporation. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online   For more information on corporations, see Publication 542, Corporations. Hand r block online S corporations. Hand r block online   An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the corporation and again to the shareholders) by electing to be treated as an S corporation. Hand r block online Generally, an S corporation is exempt from federal income tax other than tax on certain capital gains and passive income. Hand r block online On their tax returns, the S corporation's shareholders include their share of the corporation's separately stated items of income, deduction, loss, and credit, and their share of nonseparately stated income or loss. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online   For more information on S corporations, see the instructions for Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation, and Form 1120S, U. Hand r block online S. Hand r block online Income Tax Return for an S Corporation. Hand r block online Limited liability company. Hand r block online   A limited liability company (LLC) is an entity formed under state law by filing articles of organization as an LLC. Hand r block online The members of an LLC are not personally liable for its debts. Hand r block online An LLC may be classified for federal income tax purposes as either a partnership, a corporation, or an entity disregarded as an entity separate from its owner by applying the rules in regulations section 301. Hand r block online 7701-3. Hand r block online For more information, see the instructions for Form 8832, Entity Classification Election. Hand r block online Identification Numbers You must have a taxpayer identification number so the IRS can process your returns. Hand r block online The two most common kinds of taxpayer identification numbers are the social security number (SSN) and the employer identification number (EIN). Hand r block online An SSN is issued to individuals by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is in the following format: 000–00–0000. Hand r block online An EIN is issued to individuals (sole proprietors), partnerships, corporations, and other entities by the IRS and is in the following format: 00–0000000. Hand r block online You must include your taxpayer identification number (SSN or EIN) on all returns and other documents you send to the IRS. Hand r block online You must also furnish your number to other persons who use your identification number on any returns or documents they send to the IRS. Hand r block online This includes returns or documents filed to report the following information. Hand r block online Interest, dividends, royalties, etc. Hand r block online , paid to you. Hand r block online Any amount paid to you as a dependent care provider. Hand r block online Certain other amounts paid to you that total $600 or more for the year. Hand r block online If you do not furnish your identification number as required, you may be subject to penalties. Hand r block online See Penalties, later. Hand r block online Employer Identification Number (EIN) EINs are used to identify the tax accounts of employers, certain sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and other entities. Hand r block online If you don't already have an EIN, you need to get one if you: Have employees, Have a qualified retirement plan, Operate your business as a corporation or partnership, or File returns for: Employment taxes, or Excise taxes. Hand r block online Applying for an EIN. Hand r block online   You may apply for an EIN: Online—Click on the EIN link at www. Hand r block online irs. Hand r block online gov/businesses/small. Hand r block online The EIN is issued immediately once the application information is validated. Hand r block online By telephone at 1-800-829-4933. Hand r block online By mailing or faxing Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number. Hand r block online When to apply. Hand r block online   You should apply for an EIN early enough to receive the number by the time you must file a return or statement or make a tax deposit. Hand r block online If you apply by mail, file Form SS-4 at least 4 weeks before you need an EIN. Hand r block online If you apply by telephone or through the IRS website, you can get an EIN immediately. Hand r block online If you apply by fax, you can get an EIN within 4 business days. Hand r block online   If you do not receive your EIN by the time a return is due, file your return anyway. Hand r block online Write “Applied for” and the date you applied for the number in the space for the EIN. Hand r block online Do not use your social security number as a substitute for an EIN on your tax returns. Hand r block online More than one EIN. Hand r block online   You should have only one EIN. Hand r block online If you have more than one EIN and are not sure which to use, contact the Internal Revenue Service Center where you file your return. Hand r block online Give the numbers you have, the name and address to which each was assigned, and the address of your main place of business. Hand r block online The IRS will tell you which number to use. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online   For more information about EINs, see Publication 1635, Understanding Your EIN. Hand r block online Payee's Identification Number In the operation of a business, you will probably make certain payments you must report on information returns (discussed later under Information Returns). Hand r block online The forms used to report these payments must include the payee's identification number. Hand r block online Employee. Hand r block online   If you have employees, you must get an SSN from each of them. Hand r block online Record the name and SSN of each employee exactly as they are shown on the employee's social security card. Hand r block online If the employee's name is not correct as shown on the card, the employee should request a new card from the SSA. Hand r block online This may occur, for example, if the employee's name has changed due to marriage or divorce. Hand r block online   If your employee does not have an SSN, he or she should file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, with the SSA. Hand r block online This form is available at SSA offices or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Hand r block online It is also available from the SSA website at www. Hand r block online ssa. Hand r block online gov. Hand r block online Other payee. Hand r block online   If you make payments to someone who is not your employee and you must report the payments on an information return, get that person's SSN. Hand r block online If you make reportable payments to an organization, such as a corporation or partnership, you must get its EIN. Hand r block online   To get the payee's SSN or EIN, use Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. Hand r block online This form is available from IRS offices or by calling 1-800-829-3676. Hand r block online It is also available from the IRS website at IRS. Hand r block online gov. Hand r block online    If the payee does not provide you with an identification number, you may have to withhold part of the payments as backup withholding. Hand r block online For information on backup withholding, see the Form W-9 instructions and the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns. Hand r block online Tax Year You must figure your taxable income and file an income tax return based on an annual accounting period called a tax year. Hand r block online A tax year is usually 12 consecutive months. Hand r block online There are two kinds of tax years. Hand r block online Calendar tax year. Hand r block online A calendar tax year is 12 consecutive months beginning January 1 and ending December 31. Hand r block online Fiscal tax year. Hand r block online A fiscal tax year is 12 consecutive months ending on the last day of any month except December. Hand r block online A 52-53-week tax year is a fiscal tax year that varies from 52 to 53 weeks but does not have to end on the last day of a month. Hand r block online If you file your first tax return using the calendar tax year and you later begin business as a sole proprietor, become a partner in a partnership, or become a shareholder in an S corporation, you must continue to use the calendar year unless you get IRS approval to change it or are otherwise allowed to change it without IRS approval. Hand r block online You must use a calendar tax year if: You keep no books. Hand r block online You have no annual accounting period. Hand r block online Your present tax year does not qualify as a fiscal year. Hand r block online You are required to use a calendar year by a provision of the Internal Revenue Code or the Income Tax Regulations. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods. Hand r block online First-time filer. Hand r block online   If you have never filed an income tax return, you can adopt either a calendar tax year or a fiscal tax year. Hand r block online You adopt a tax year by filing your first income tax return using that tax year. Hand r block online You have not adopted a tax year if you merely did any of the following. Hand r block online Filed an application for an extension of time to file an income tax return. Hand r block online Filed an application for an employer identification number. Hand r block online Paid estimated taxes for that tax year. Hand r block online Changing your tax year. Hand r block online   Once you have adopted your tax year, you may have to get IRS approval to change it. Hand r block online To get approval, you must file Form 1128, Application To Adopt, Change, or Retain a Tax Year. Hand r block online You may have to pay a fee. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 538. Hand r block online Accounting Method An accounting method is a set of rules used to determine when and how income and expenses are reported. Hand r block online You choose an accounting method for your business when you file your first income tax return. Hand r block online There are two basic accounting methods. Hand r block online Cash method. Hand r block online Under the cash method, you report income in the tax year you receive it. Hand r block online You usually deduct or capitalize expenses in the tax year you pay them. Hand r block online Accrual method. Hand r block online Under an accrual method, you generally report income in the tax year you earn it, even though you may receive payment in a later year. Hand r block online You deduct or capitalize expenses in the tax year you incur them, whether or not you pay them that year. Hand r block online For other methods, see Publication 538. Hand r block online If you need inventories to show income correctly, you must generally use an accrual method of accounting for purchases and sales. Hand r block online Inventories include goods held for sale in the normal course of business. Hand r block online They also include raw materials and supplies that will physically become a part of merchandise intended for sale. Hand r block online Inventories are explained in Publication 538. Hand r block online Certain small business taxpayers can use the cash method of accounting and can also account for inventoriable items as materials and supplies that are not incidental. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 538. Hand r block online You must use the same accounting method to figure your taxable income and to keep your books. Hand r block online Also, you must use an accounting method that clearly shows your income. Hand r block online In general, any accounting method that consistently uses accounting principles suitable for your trade or business clearly shows income. Hand r block online An accounting method clearly shows income only if it treats all items of gross income and expense the same from year to year. Hand r block online More than one business. Hand r block online   When you own more than one business, you can use a different accounting method for each business if the method you use for each clearly shows your income. Hand r block online You must keep a complete and separate set of books and records for each business. Hand r block online Changing your method of accounting. Hand r block online   Once you have set up your accounting method, you must generally get IRS approval before you can change to another method. Hand r block online A change in accounting method not only includes a change in your overall system of accounting, but also a change in the treatment of any material item. Hand r block online For examples of changes that require approval and information on how to get approval for the change, see Publication 538. Hand r block online Business Taxes The form of business you operate determines what taxes you must pay and how you pay them. Hand r block online The following are the four general kinds of business taxes. Hand r block online Income tax. Hand r block online Self-employment tax. Hand r block online Employment taxes. Hand r block online Excise taxes. Hand r block online See Table 2 for the forms you file to report these taxes. Hand r block online You may want to get Publication 509. Hand r block online It has tax calendars that tell you when to file returns and make tax payments. Hand r block online Income Tax All businesses except partnerships must file an annual income tax return. Hand r block online Partnerships file an information return. Hand r block online Which form you use depends on how your business is organized. Hand r block online See Table 2 to find out which return you have to file. Hand r block online The federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax. Hand r block online You must pay the tax as you earn or receive income during the year. Hand r block online An employee usually has income tax withheld from his or her pay. Hand r block online If you do not pay your tax through withholding, or do not pay enough tax that way, you might have to pay estimated tax. Hand r block online If you are not required to make estimated tax payments, you may pay any tax due when you file your return. Hand r block online Table 2. Hand r block online Which Forms Must I File? IF you are a. Hand r block online . Hand r block online . Hand r block online   THEN you may be liable for. Hand r block online . Hand r block online . Hand r block online   Use Form. Hand r block online . Hand r block online . Hand r block online Sole proprietor   Income tax   1040 and Schedule C 1 or C-EZ (Schedule F 1 for farm business)     Self-employment tax   1040 and Schedule SE     Estimated tax   1040-ES     Employment taxes:         • Social security and Medicare   taxes and income tax   withholding   941 or 944 (943 for farm employees)     • Federal unemployment (FUTA)   tax   940     Excise taxes   See Excise Taxes Partnership   Annual return of income   1065     Employment taxes   Same as sole proprietor     Excise taxes   See Excise Taxes Partner in a partnership (individual)   Income tax   1040 and Schedule E 2     Self-employment tax   1040 and Schedule SE     Estimated tax   1040-ES Corporation or S corporation   Income tax   1120 (corporation) 2  1120S (S corporation) 2     Estimated tax   1120-W (corporation only)     Employment taxes   Same as sole proprietor     Excise taxes   See Excise Taxes S corporation shareholder   Income tax   1040 and Schedule E 2     Estimated tax   1040-ES 1 File a separate schedule for each business. Hand r block online 2 Various other schedules may be needed. Hand r block online Estimated tax. Hand r block online   Generally, you must pay taxes on income, including self-employment tax (discussed next), by making regular payments of estimated tax during the year. Hand r block online Sole proprietors, partners, and S corporation shareholders. Hand r block online   You generally have to make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when you file your return. Hand r block online Use Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure and pay your estimated tax. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. Hand r block online Corporations. Hand r block online   You generally have to make estimated tax payments for your corporation if you expect it to owe tax of $500 or more when you file its return. Hand r block online Use Form 1120-W, Estimated Tax for Corporations, to figure the estimated tax. Hand r block online You must deposit the payments as explained later under Depositing Taxes. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 542. Hand r block online Self-Employment Tax Self-employment tax (SE tax) is a social security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. Hand r block online Your payments of SE tax contribute to your coverage under the social security system. Hand r block online Social security coverage provides you with retirement benefits, disability benefits, survivor benefits, and hospital insurance (Medicare) benefits. Hand r block online You must pay SE tax and file Schedule SE (Form 1040) if either of the following applies. Hand r block online Your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more. Hand r block online You had church employee income of $108. Hand r block online 28 or more. Hand r block online Use Schedule SE (Form 1040) to figure your SE tax. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. Hand r block online You can deduct a portion of your SE tax as an adjustment to income on your Form 1040. Hand r block online The Social Security Administration (SSA) time limit for posting self-employment income. Hand r block online   Generally, the SSA will give you credit only for self-employment income reported on a tax return filed within 3 years, 3 months, and 15 days after the tax year you earned the income. Hand r block online If you file your tax return or report a change in your self-employment income after this time limit, the SSA may change its records, but only to remove or reduce the amount. Hand r block online The SSA will not change its records to increase your self-employment income. Hand r block online Employment Taxes This section briefly discusses the employment taxes you must pay, the forms you must file to report them, and other forms that must be filed when you have employees. Hand r block online Employment taxes include the following. Hand r block online Social security and Medicare taxes. Hand r block online Federal income tax withholding. Hand r block online Federal unemployment (FUTA) tax. Hand r block online If you have employees, you will need to get Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide. Hand r block online If you have agricultural employees, get Publication 51, Circular A, Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide. Hand r block online These publications explain your tax responsibilities as an employer. Hand r block online If you are not sure whether the people working for you are your employees, see Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide. Hand r block online That publication has information to help you determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor. Hand r block online If you classify an employee as an independent contractor, you can be held liable for employment taxes for that worker plus a penalty. Hand r block online An independent contractor is someone who is self-employed. Hand r block online Generally, you do not have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to an independent contractor. Hand r block online Federal Income, Social Security, and Medicare Taxes You generally must withhold federal income tax from your employee's wages. Hand r block online To figure how much federal income tax to withhold from each wage payment, use the employee's Form W-4 (discussed later under Hiring Employees) and the methods described in Publication 15. Hand r block online Social security and Medicare taxes pay for benefits that workers and their families receive under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Hand r block online Social security tax pays for benefits under the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance part of FICA. Hand r block online Medicare tax pays for benefits under the hospital insurance part of FICA. Hand r block online You withhold part of these taxes from your employee's wages and you pay a part yourself. Hand r block online To find out how much social security and Medicare tax to withhold and to pay, see Publication 15. Hand r block online Which form do I file?   Report these taxes on Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, or Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return. Hand r block online (Farm employers use Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees. Hand r block online ) Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax The federal unemployment tax is part of the federal and state program under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) that pays unemployment compensation to workers who lose their jobs. Hand r block online You report and pay FUTA tax separately from social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax. Hand r block online You pay FUTA tax only from your own funds. Hand r block online Employees do not pay this tax or have it withheld from their pay. Hand r block online Which form do I file?   Report federal unemployment tax on Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. Hand r block online See Publication 15 to find out if you can use this form. Hand r block online Hiring Employees Have the employees you hire fill out Form I-9 and Form W-4. Hand r block online Form I-9. Hand r block online   You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. Hand r block online Both you and the employee must complete the U. Hand r block online S. Hand r block online Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Hand r block online You can get the form from USCIS offices or from the USCIS website at www. Hand r block online uscis. Hand r block online gov. Hand r block online Call the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 for more information about your responsibilities. Hand r block online Form W-4. Hand r block online   Each employee must fill out Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. Hand r block online You will use the filing status and withholding allowances shown on this form to figure the amount of income tax to withhold from your employee's wages. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 15. Hand r block online Employees claiming more than 10 withholding allowances. Hand r block online   An employer of an employee who claims more than 10 withholding allowances for wages paid can use several methods of withholding. Hand r block online See section 16 of Publication 15. Hand r block online Form W-2 Wage Reporting After the calendar year is over, you must furnish copies of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, to each employee to whom you paid wages during the year. Hand r block online You must also send copies to the Social Security Administration. Hand r block online See Information Returns, later, for more information on Form W-2. Hand r block online Excise Taxes This section describes the excise taxes you may have to pay and the forms you have to file if you do any of the following. Hand r block online Manufacture or sell certain products. Hand r block online Operate certain kinds of businesses. Hand r block online Use various kinds of equipment, facilities, or products. Hand r block online Receive payment for certain services. Hand r block online For more information on excise taxes, see Publication 510, Excise Taxes. Hand r block online Form 720. Hand r block online   The federal excise taxes reported on Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, consist of several broad categories of taxes, including the following. Hand r block online Environmental taxes. Hand r block online Communications and air transportation taxes. Hand r block online Fuel taxes. Hand r block online Tax on the first retail sale of heavy trucks, trailers, and tractors. Hand r block online Manufacturers taxes on the sale or use of a variety of different articles. Hand r block online Form 2290. Hand r block online   There is a federal excise tax on certain trucks, truck tractors, and buses used on public highways. Hand r block online The tax applies to vehicles having a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. Hand r block online Report the tax on Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return. Hand r block online For more information, see the instructions for Form 2290. Hand r block online Form 730. Hand r block online   If you are in the business of accepting wagers or conducting a wagering pool or lottery, you may be liable for the federal excise tax on wagering. Hand r block online Use Form 730, Monthly Tax Return for Wagers, to figure the tax on the wagers you receive. Hand r block online Form 11-C. Hand r block online   Use Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering, to register for any wagering activity and to pay the federal occupational tax on wagering. Hand r block online Depositing Taxes You generally have to deposit employment taxes, certain excise taxes, corporate income tax, and S corporation taxes before you file your return. Hand r block online Generally, taxpayers are required to deposit taxes through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Hand r block online Any business that has a federal tax obligation and requests a new EIN will automatically be enrolled in EFTPS. Hand r block online Through the mail, the business will receive an EFTPS PIN package that contains instructions for activating its EFTPS enrollment. Hand r block online Information Returns If you make or receive payments in your business, you may have to report them to the IRS on information returns. Hand r block online The IRS compares the payments shown on the information returns with each person's income tax return to see if the payments were included in income. Hand r block online You must give a copy of each information return you are required to file to the recipient or payer. Hand r block online In addition to the forms described below, you may have to use other returns to report certain kinds of payments or transactions. Hand r block online For more details on information returns and when you have to file them, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns. Hand r block online Form 1099-MISC. Hand r block online   Use Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, to report certain payments you make in your trade or business. Hand r block online These payments include the following items. Hand r block online Payments of $600 or more for services performed for your business by people not treated as your employees, such as subcontractors, attorneys, accountants, or directors. Hand r block online Rent payments of $600 or more, other than rents paid to real estate agents. Hand r block online Prizes and awards of $600 or more that are not for services, such as winnings on TV or radio shows. Hand r block online Royalty payments of $10 or more. Hand r block online Payments to certain crew members by operators of fishing boats. Hand r block online You also use Form 1099-MISC to report your sales of $5,000 or more of consumer goods to a person for resale anywhere other than in a permanent retail establishment. Hand r block online Form W-2. Hand r block online   You must file Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, to report payments to your employees, such as wages, tips, and other compensation, withheld income, social security, and Medicare taxes. Hand r block online For more information on what to report on Form W-2, see the Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3. Hand r block online Form 8300. Hand r block online   You must file Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business, if you receive more than $10,000 in cash in one transaction or two or more related business transactions. Hand r block online Cash includes U. Hand r block online S. Hand r block online and foreign coin and currency. Hand r block online It also includes certain monetary instruments such as cashier's and traveler's checks and money orders. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 1544, Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000 (Received in a Trade or Business). Hand r block online Penalties The law provides penalties for not filing returns or paying taxes as required. Hand r block online Criminal penalties may be imposed for willful failure to file, tax evasion, or making a false statement. Hand r block online Failure to file tax returns. Hand r block online   If you do not file your tax return by the due date, you may have to pay a penalty. Hand r block online The penalty is based on the tax not paid by the due date. Hand r block online See your tax return instructions for more information about this penalty. Hand r block online Failure to pay tax. Hand r block online   If you do not pay your taxes by the due date, you will have to pay a penalty for each month, or part of a month, that your taxes are not paid. Hand r block online For more information, see your tax return instructions. Hand r block online Failure to withhold, deposit, or pay taxes. Hand r block online   If you do not withhold income, social security, or Medicare taxes from employees, or if you withhold taxes but do not deposit them or pay them to the IRS, you may be subject to a penalty of the unpaid tax, plus interest. Hand r block online You may also be subject to penalties if you deposit the taxes late. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 15. Hand r block online Failure to follow information reporting requirements. Hand r block online   The following penalties apply if you are required to file information returns. Hand r block online For more information, see the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns. Hand r block online Failure to file information returns. Hand r block online A penalty applies if you do not file information returns by the due date, if you do not include all required information, or if you report incorrect information. Hand r block online Failure to furnish correct payee statements. Hand r block online A penalty applies if you do not furnish a required statement to a payee by the due date, if you do not include all required information, or if you report incorrect information. Hand r block online Waiver of penalty. Hand r block online   These penalties will not apply if you can show that the failures were due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. Hand r block online   In addition, there is no penalty for failure to include all the required information, or for including incorrect information, on a de minimis number of information returns if you correct the errors by August 1 of the year the returns are due. Hand r block online (To be considered de minimis, the number of returns cannot exceed the greater of 10 or ½ of 1% of the total number of returns you are required to file for the year. Hand r block online ) Failure to supply taxpayer identification number. Hand r block online   If you do not include your taxpayer identification number (SSN or EIN) or the taxpayer identification number of another person where required on a return, statement, or other document, you may be subject to a penalty of $50 for each failure. Hand r block online You may also be subject to the $50 penalty if you do not give your taxpayer identification number to another person when it is required on a return, statement, or other document. Hand r block online Business Expenses You can deduct business expenses on your income tax return. Hand r block online These are the current operating costs of running your business. Hand r block online To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. Hand r block online An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business, trade, or profession. Hand r block online A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business, trade, or profession. Hand r block online An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary. Hand r block online The following are brief explanations of some expenses that are of interest to people starting a business. Hand r block online There are many other expenses that you may be able to deduct. Hand r block online See your form instructions and Publication 535, Business Expenses. Hand r block online Business Start-Up Costs Business start-up costs are the expenses you incur before you actually begin business operations. Hand r block online Your business start-up costs will depend on the type of business you are starting. Hand r block online They may include costs for advertising, travel, surveys, and training. Hand r block online These costs are generally capital expenses. Hand r block online You usually recover costs for a particular asset (such as machinery or office equipment) through depreciation (discussed next). Hand r block online You can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of business start-up costs and $5,000 of organizational costs paid or incurred after October 22, 2004. Hand r block online The $5,000 deduction is reduced by the amount your total start-up or organizational costs exceed $50,000. Hand r block online Any remaining cost must be amortized. Hand r block online For more information about amortizing start-up and organizational costs, see chapter 7 in Publication 535. Hand r block online Depreciation If property you acquire to use in your business has a useful life that extends substantially beyond the year it is placed in service, you generally cannot deduct the entire cost as a business expense in the year you acquire it. Hand r block online You must spread the cost over more than one tax year and deduct part of it each year. Hand r block online This method of deducting the cost of business property is called depreciation. Hand r block online Business property you must depreciate includes the following items. Hand r block online Office furniture. Hand r block online Buildings. Hand r block online Machinery and equipment. Hand r block online You can choose to deduct a limited amount of the cost of certain depreciable property in the year you place the property in service. Hand r block online This deduction is known as the “section 179 deduction. Hand r block online ” For more information about depreciation and the section 179 deduction, see Publication 946, How To Depreciate Property. Hand r block online Depreciation must be taken in the year it is allowable. Hand r block online Allowable depreciation not taken in a prior year cannot be taken in the current year. Hand r block online If you do not deduct the correct depreciation, you may be able to make a correction by filing Form 1040X, Amended U. Hand r block online S. Hand r block online Individual Income Tax Return, or by changing your accounting method. Hand r block online For more information on how to correct depreciation deductions, see chapter 1 in Publication 946. Hand r block online Business Use of Your Home To deduct expenses related to the business use of part of your home, you must meet specific requirements. Hand r block online Even then, your deduction may be limited. Hand r block online To qualify to claim expenses for business use of your home, you must meet both the following tests. Hand r block online Your use of the business part of your home must be: Exclusive (however, see Exceptions to exclusive use, later), Regular, For your trade or business, AND The business part of your home must be one of the following: Your principal place of business (defined later), A place where you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of your trade or business, or A separate structure (not attached to your home) you use in connection with your trade or business. Hand r block online Exclusive use. Hand r block online   To qualify under the exclusive use test, you must use a specific area of your home only for your trade or business. Hand r block online The area used for business can be a room or other separately identifiable space. Hand r block online The space does not need to be marked off by a permanent partition. Hand r block online   You do not meet the requirements of the exclusive use test if you use the area in question both for business and for personal purposes. Hand r block online Exceptions to exclusive use. Hand r block online   You do not have to meet the exclusive use test if either of the following applies. Hand r block online You use part of your home for the storage of inventory or product samples. Hand r block online You use part of your home as a daycare facility. Hand r block online For an explanation of these exceptions, see Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Daycare Providers). Hand r block online Principal place of business. Hand r block online   Your home office will qualify as your principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use if you meet the following requirements. Hand r block online You use it exclusively and regularly for administrative or management activities of your trade or business. Hand r block online You have no other fixed location where you conduct substantial administrative or management activities of your trade or business. Hand r block online   Alternatively, if you use your home exclusively and regularly for your business, but your home office does not qualify as your principal place of business based on the previous rules, you determine your principal place of business based on the following factors. Hand r block online The relative importance of the activities performed at each location. Hand r block online If the relative importance factor does not determine your principal place of business, the time spent at each location. Hand r block online    If, after considering your business locations, your home cannot be identified as your principal place of business, you cannot deduct home office expenses. Hand r block online However, for other ways to qualify to deduct home office expenses, see Publication 587. Hand r block online Which form do I file?   If you file Schedule C (Form 1040), use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure your deduction. Hand r block online If you file Schedule F (Form 1040) or you are a partner, you can use the worksheet in Publication 587. Hand r block online More information. Hand r block online   For more information about business use of your home, see Publication 587. Hand r block online Car and Truck Expenses If you use your car or truck in your business, you can deduct the costs of operating and maintaining it. Hand r block online You generally can deduct either your actual expenses or the standard mileage rate. Hand r block online Actual expenses. Hand r block online   If you deduct actual expenses, you can deduct the cost of the following items: Depreciation Lease payments Registration Garage rent Licenses Repairs Gas Oil Tires Insurance Parking fees Tolls   If you use your vehicle for both business and personal purposes, you must divide your expenses between business and personal use. Hand r block online You can divide your expenses based on the miles driven for each purpose. Hand r block online Example. Hand r block online You are the sole proprietor of a flower shop. Hand r block online You drove your van 20,000 miles during the year. Hand r block online 16,000 miles were for delivering flowers to customers and 4,000 miles were for personal use. Hand r block online You can claim only 80% (16,000 ÷ 20,000) of the cost of operating your van as a business expense. Hand r block online Standard mileage rate. Hand r block online   Instead of figuring actual expenses, you may be able to use the standard mileage rate to figure the deductible costs of operating your car, van, pickup, or panel truck for business purposes. Hand r block online You can use the standard mileage rate for a vehicle you own or lease. Hand r block online The standard mileage rate is a specified amount of money you can deduct for each business mile you drive. Hand r block online It is announced annually by the IRS. Hand r block online To figure your deduction, multiply your business miles by the standard mileage rate for the year. Hand r block online    Generally, if you use the standard mileage rate, you cannot deduct your actual expenses. Hand r block online However, you may be able to deduct business-related parking fees, tolls, interest on your car loan, and certain state and local taxes. Hand r block online Choosing the standard mileage rate. Hand r block online   If you want to use the standard mileage rate for a car you own, you must choose to use it in the first year the car is available for use in your business. Hand r block online In later years, you can choose to use either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. Hand r block online   If you use the standard mileage rate for a car you lease, you must choose to use it for the entire lease period (including renewals). Hand r block online Additional information. Hand r block online   For more information about the rules for claiming car and truck expenses, see Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses. Hand r block online Recordkeeping This part explains why you must keep records, what kinds of records you must keep, and how to keep them. Hand r block online It also explains how long you must keep your records for federal tax purposes. Hand r block online A sample recordkeeping system is illustrated at the end of this part. Hand r block online Why Keep Records? Everyone in business must keep records. Hand r block online Good records will help you do the following. Hand r block online Monitor the progress of your business. Hand r block online   You need good records to monitor the progress of your business. Hand r block online Records can show whether your business is improving, which items are selling, or what changes you need to make. Hand r block online Good records can increase the likelihood of business success. Hand r block online Prepare your financial statements. Hand r block online   You need good records to prepare accurate financial statements. Hand r block online These include income (profit and loss) statements and balance sheets. Hand r block online These statements can help you in dealing with your bank or creditors and help you manage your business. Hand r block online An income statement shows the income and expenses of the business for a given period of time. Hand r block online A balance sheet shows the assets, liabilities, and your equity in the business on a given date. Hand r block online Identify source of receipts. Hand r block online   You will receive money or property from many sources. Hand r block online Your records can identify the source of your receipts. Hand r block online You need this information to separate business from nonbusiness receipts and taxable from nontaxable income. Hand r block online Keep track of deductible expenses. Hand r block online   You may forget expenses when you prepare your tax return unless you record them when they occur. Hand r block online Prepare your tax returns. Hand r block online   You need good records to prepare your tax returns. Hand r block online These records must support the income, expenses, and credits you report. Hand r block online Generally, these are the same records you use to monitor your business and prepare your financial statements. Hand r block online Support items reported on tax returns. Hand r block online   You must keep your business records available at all times for inspection by the IRS. Hand r block online If the IRS examines any of your tax returns, you may be asked to explain the items reported. Hand r block online A complete set of records will speed up the examination. Hand r block online Kinds of Records To Keep Except in a few cases, the law does not require any specific kind of records. Hand r block online You can choose any recordkeeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income and expenses. Hand r block online The business you are in affects the type of records you need to keep for federal tax purposes. Hand r block online You should set up your recordkeeping system using an accounting method that clearly shows your income for your tax year. Hand r block online See Accounting Method, earlier. Hand r block online If you are in more than one business, you should keep a complete and separate set of records for each business. Hand r block online A corporation should keep minutes of board of directors' meetings. Hand r block online Your recordkeeping system should include a summary of your business transactions. Hand r block online This summary is ordinarily made in your books (for example, accounting journals and ledgers). Hand r block online Your books must show your gross income, as well as your deductions and credits. Hand r block online For most small businesses, the business checkbook (discussed later) is the main source for entries in the business books. Hand r block online In addition, you must keep supporting documents, explained later. Hand r block online Electronic records. Hand r block online   All requirements that apply to hard copy books and records also apply to electronic storage systems that maintain tax books and records. Hand r block online When you replace hard copy books and records, you must maintain the electronic storage systems for as long as they are material to the administration of tax law. Hand r block online An electronic storage system is any system for preparing or keeping your records either by electronic imaging or by transfer to an electronic storage media. Hand r block online The electronic storage system must index, store, preserve, retrieve and reproduce the electronically stored books and records in legible format. Hand r block online All electronic storage systems must provide a complete and accurate record of your data that is accessible to the IRS. Hand r block online Electronic storage systems are also subject to the same controls and retention guidelines as those imposed on your original hard copy books and records. Hand r block online   The original hard copy books and records may be destroyed provided that the electronic storage system has been tested to establish that the hard copy books and records are being reproduced in compliance with IRS requirements for an electronic storage system and procedures are established to ensure continued compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. Hand r block online You still have the responsibility of retaining any other books and records that are required to be retained. Hand r block online   The IRS may test your electronic storage system, including the equipment used, indexing methodology, software and retrieval capabilities. Hand r block online This test is not considered an examination and the results must be shared with you. Hand r block online If your electronic storage system meets the requirements mentioned earlier, you will be in compliance. Hand r block online If not, you may be subject to penalties for non-compliance, unless you continue to maintain your original hard copy books and records in a manner that allows you and the IRS to determine your correct tax. Hand r block online For details on electronic storage system requirements, see Revenue Procedure 97-22, available in Internal Revenue Bulletin 1997-13. Hand r block online Supporting Documents Purchases, sales, payroll, and other transactions you have in your business generate supporting documents. Hand r block online Supporting documents include sales slips, paid bills, invoices, receipts, deposit slips, and canceled checks. Hand r block online These documents contain information you need to record in your books. Hand r block online It is important to keep these documents because they support the entries in your books and on your tax return. Hand r block online Keep them in an orderly fashion and in a safe place. Hand r block online For instance, organize them by year and type of income or expense. Hand r block online Gross receipts. Hand r block online   Gross receipts are the income you receive from your business. Hand r block online You should keep supporting documents that show the amounts and sources of your gross receipts. Hand r block online Documents that show gross receipts include the following. Hand r block online Cash register tapes. Hand r block online Bank deposit slips. Hand r block online Receipt books. Hand r block online Invoices. Hand r block online Credit card charge slips. Hand r block online Forms 1099-MISC. Hand r block online Purchases. Hand r block online   Purchases are the items you buy and resell to customers. Hand r block online If you are a manufacturer or producer, this includes the cost of all raw materials or parts purchased for manufacture into finished products. Hand r block online Your supporting documents should show the amount paid and that the amount was for purchases. Hand r block online Documents for purchases include the following. Hand r block online Canceled checks. Hand r block online Cash register tape receipts. Hand r block online Credit card sales slips. Hand r block online Invoices. Hand r block online These records will help you determine the value of your inventory at the end of the year. Hand r block online See Publication 538 for information on methods for valuing inventory. Hand r block online Expenses. Hand r block online   Expenses are the costs you incur (other than purchases) to carry on your business. Hand r block online Your supporting documents should show the amount paid and that the amount was for a business expense. Hand r block online Documents for expenses include the following. Hand r block online Canceled checks. Hand r block online Cash register tapes. Hand r block online Account statements. Hand r block online Credit card sales slips. Hand r block online Invoices. Hand r block online Petty cash slips for small cash payments. Hand r block online    A petty cash fund allows you to make small payments without having to write checks for small amounts. Hand r block online Each time you make a payment from this fund, you should make out a petty cash slip and attach it to your receipt as proof of payment. Hand r block online Travel, transportation, entertainment, and gift expenses. Hand r block online   Specific recordkeeping rules apply to these expenses. Hand r block online For more information, see Publication 463. Hand r block online Employment taxes. Hand r block online   There are specific employment tax records you must keep. Hand r block online For a list, see Publication 15. Hand r block online Assets. Hand r block online   Assets are the property, such as machinery and furniture you own and use in your business. Hand r block online You must keep records to verify certain information about your business assets. Hand r block online You need records to figure the annual depreciation and the gain or loss when you sell the assets. Hand r block online Your records should show the following information. Hand r block online When and how you acquired the asset. Hand r block online Purchase price. Hand r block online Cost of any improvements. Hand r block online Section 179 deduction taken. Hand r block online Deductions taken for depreciation. Hand r block online Deductions taken for casualty losses, such as losses resulting from fires or storms. Hand r block online How you used the asset. Hand r block online When and how you disposed of the asset. Hand r block online Selling price. Hand r block online Expenses of sale. Hand r block online   The following documents may show this information. Hand r block online Purchase and sales invoices. Hand r block online Real estate closing statements. Hand r block online Canceled checks. Hand r block online What if I don't have a canceled check?   If you do not have a canceled check, you may be able to prove payment with certain financial account statements prepared by financial institutions. Hand r block online These include account statements prepared for the financial institution by a third party. Hand r block online These account statements must be highly legible. Hand r block online The following table lists acceptable account statements. Hand r block online  IF payment is by. Hand r block online . Hand r block online . Hand r block online THEN the statement must show the. Hand r block online . Hand r block online . Hand r block online Check Check number. Hand r block online Amount. Hand r block online Payee's name. Hand r block online Date the check amount was posted to the account by the financial institution. Hand r block online Electronic funds transfer Amount transferred. Hand r block online Payee's name. Hand r block online Date the transfer was posted to the account by the financial institution. Hand r block online Credit card Amount charged. Hand r block online Payee's name. Hand r block online Transaction date. Hand r block online    Proof of payment of an amount, by itself, does not establish you are entitled to a tax deduction. Hand r block online You should also keep other documents, such as credit card sales slips and invoices, to show that you also incurred the cost. Hand r block online Recording Business Transactions A good recordkeeping system includes a summary of your business transactions. Hand r block online (Your business transactions are shown on the supporting documents just discussed. Hand r block online ) Business transactions are ordinarily summarized in books called journals and ledgers. Hand r block online You can buy them at your local stationery or office supply store. Hand r block online A journal is a book where you record each business transaction shown on your supporting documents. Hand r block online You may have to keep separate journals for transactions that occur frequently. Hand r block online A ledger is a book that contains the totals from all of your journals. Hand r block online It is organized into different accounts. Hand r block online Whether you keep journals and ledgers and how you keep them depends on the type of business you are in. Hand r block online For example, a recordkeeping system for a small business might include the following items. Hand r block online Business checkbook. Hand r block online Daily summary of cash receipts. Hand r block online Monthly summary of cash receipts. Hand r block online Check disbursements journal. Hand r block online Depreciation worksheet. Hand r block online Employee compensation record. Hand r block online The business checkbook is explained next. Hand r block online The other items are illustrated later under Sample Record System. Hand r block online The system you use to record business transactions will be more effective if you follow good recordkeeping practices. Hand r block online For example, record expenses when they occur, and identify the source of recorded receipts. Hand r block online Generally, it is best to record transactions on a daily basis. Hand r block online Business checkbook. Hand r block online   One of the first things you should do when you start a business is open a business checking account. Hand r block online You should keep your business account separate from your personal checking account. Hand r block online   The business checkbook is your basic source of information for recording your business expenses. Hand r block online You should deposit all daily receipts in your business checking account. Hand r block online You should check your account for errors by reconciling it. Hand r block online See Reconciling the checking account, later. Hand r block online   Consider using a checkbook that allows enough space to identify the source of deposits as business income, personal funds, or loans. Hand r block online You should also note on the deposit slip the source of the deposit and keep copies of all slips. Hand r block online   You should make all payments by check to document business expenses. Hand r block online Write checks payable to yourself only when making withdrawals from your business for personal use. Hand r block online Avoid writing checks payable to cash. Hand r block online If you must write a check for cash to pay a business expense, include the receipt for the cash payment in your records. Hand r block online If you cannot get a receipt for a cash payment, you should make an adequate explanation in your records at the time of payment. Hand r block online    Use the business account for business purposes only. Hand r block online Indicate the source of deposits and the type of expense in the checkbook. Hand r block online Reconciling the checking account. Hand r block online   When you receive your bank statement, make sure the statement, your checkbook, and your books agree. Hand r block online The statement balance may not agree with the balance in your checkbook and books if the statement: Includes bank charges you did not enter in your books and subtract from your checkbook balance, or Does not include deposits made after the statement date or checks that did not clear your account before the statement date. Hand r block online   By reconciling your checking account, you will: Verify how much money you have in the account, Make sure that your checkbook and books reflect all bank charges and the correct balance in the checking account, and Correct any errors in your bank statement, checkbook, and books. Hand r block online    You should reconcile your checking account each month. Hand r block online     Before you reconcile your monthly bank statement, check your own figures. Hand r block online Begin with the balance shown in your checkbook at the end of the previous month. Hand r block online To this balance, add the total cash deposited during the month and subtract the total cash disbursements. Hand r block online   After checking your figures, the result should agree with your checkbook balance at the end of the month. Hand r block online If the result does not agree, you may have made an error in recording a check or deposit. Hand r block online You can find the error by doing the following. Hand r block online Adding the amounts on your check stubs and comparing that total with the total in the “amount of check” column in your check disbursements journal. Hand r block online If the totals do not agree, check the individual amounts to see if an error was made in your check stub record or in the related entry in your check disbursements journal. Hand r block online Adding the deposit amounts in your checkbook. Hand r block online Compare that total with the monthly total in your cash receipt book, if you have one. Hand r block online If the totals do not agree, check the individual amounts to find any errors. Hand r block online   If your checkbook and journal entries still disagree, then refigure the running balance in your checkbook to make sure additions and subtractions are correct. Hand r block online   When your checkbook balance agrees with the balance figured from the journal entries, you may begin reconciling your checkbook with the bank statement. Hand r block online Many banks print a reconciliation worksheet on the back of the statement. Hand r block online   To reconcile your account, follow these steps. Hand r block online Compare the deposits listed on the bank statement with the deposits shown in your checkbook. Hand r block online Note all differences in the dollar amounts. Hand r block online Compare each canceled check, including both check number and dollar amount, with the entry in your checkbook. Hand r block online Note all differences in the dollar amounts. Hand r block online Mark the check number in the checkbook as having cleared the bank. Hand r block online After accounting for all checks returned by the bank, those not marked in your checkbook are your outstanding checks. Hand r block online Prepare a bank reconciliation. Hand r block online One is illustrated later under Sample Record System. Hand r block online Update your checkbook and journals for items shown on the reconciliation as not recorded (such as service charges) or recorded incorrectly. Hand r block online At this point, the adjusted bank statement balance should equal your adjusted checkbook balance. Hand r block online If you still have differences, check the previous steps to find the errors. Hand r block online   Table 3. Hand r block online Period of Limitations IF you. Hand r block online . Hand r block online . Hand r block online   THEN the period is. Hand r block online . Hand r block online . Hand r block online 1. Hand r block online Owe additional tax and situations (2), (3), and (4), below, do not apply to you   3 years 2. Hand r block online Do not report income that you should report and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on the return   6 years 3. Hand r block online File a fraudulent return   Not limited 4. Hand r block online Do not file a return   Not limited 5. Hand r block online File a claim for credit or refund after you filed your return   Later of: 3 years or  2 years after tax   was paid 6. Hand r block online File a claim for a loss from worthless securities or a bad debt deduction   7 years Bookkeeping System You must decide whether to use a single-entry or a double-entry bookkeeping system. Hand r block online The single-entry system of bookkeeping is the simplest to maintain, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Hand r block online You may find the double-entry system better because it has built-in checks and balances to assure accuracy and control. Hand r block online Single-entry. Hand r block online   A single-entry system is based on the income statement (profit or loss statement). Hand r block online It can be a simple and practical system if you are starting a small business. Hand r block online The system records the flow of income and expenses through the use of: A daily summary of cash receipts, and Monthly summaries of cash receipts and disbursements. Hand r block online Double-entry. Hand r block online   A double-entry bookkeeping system uses journals and ledgers. Hand r block online Transactions are first entered in a journal and then posted to ledger accounts. Hand r block online These accounts show income, expenses, assets (property a business owns), liabilities (debts of a business), and net worth (excess of assets over liabilities). Hand r block online You close income and expense accounts at the end of each tax year. Hand r block online You keep asset, liability, and net worth accounts open on a permanent basis. Hand r block online   In the double-entry system, each account has a left side for debits and a right side for credits. Hand r block online It is self-balancing because you record every transaction as a debit entry in one account and as a credit entry in another. Hand r block online   Under this system, the total debits must equal the total credits after you post the journal entries to the ledger accounts. Hand r block online If the amounts do not balance, you have made an error and you must find and correct it. Hand r block online   An example of a journal entry exhibiting a payment of rent in October is shown next. Hand r block online General Journal Date Description of Entry Debit  Credit Oct. Hand r block online 5 Rent expense 780. Hand r block online 00     Cash   780. Hand r block online 00                 Computerized System There are computer software packages you can use for recordkeeping. Hand r block online They can be purchased in many retail stores. Hand r block online These packages are very helpful and relatively easy to use; they require very little knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting. Hand r block online If you use a computerized system, you must be able to produce sufficient legible records to support and verify entries made on your return and determine your correct tax liability. Hand r block online To meet this qualification, the machine-sensible records must reconcile with your books and return. Hand r block online These records must provide enough detail to identify the underlying source documents. Hand r block online You must also keep all machine-sensible records and a complete description of the computerized portion of your recordkeeping system. Hand r block online This documentation must be sufficiently detailed to show all of the following items. Hand r block online Functions being performed as the data flows through the system. Hand r block online Controls used to ensure accurate and reliable processing. Hand r block online Controls used to prevent the unauthorized addition, alteration, or deletion of retained records. Hand r block online Charts of accounts and detailed account descriptions. Hand r block online See Revenue Procedure 98-25 in Cumulative Bulletin 1998-1 for more information. Hand r block online How Long To Keep Records You must keep your records as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Hand r block online Generally, this means you must keep records that support an item of income or deduction on a return until the period of limitations for that return runs out. Hand r block online The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your return to claim a credit or refund, or the IRS can assess additional tax. Hand r block online Table 3 contains the periods of limitations that apply to income tax returns. Hand r block online Unless otherwise stated, the years refer to the period after the return was filed. Hand r block online Returns filed before the due date are treated as filed on the due date. Hand r block online Keep copies of your filed tax returns. Hand r block online They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return. Hand r block online Employment taxes. Hand r block online   If you have employees, you must keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later. Hand r block online For more information about recordkeeping for employment taxes, see Publication 15. Hand r block online Assets. Hand r block online   Keep records relating to property until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the property in a taxable disposition. Hand r block online You must keep these records to figure any depreciation, amortization, or depletion deduction, and to figure your basis for computing gain or loss when you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. Hand r block online   Generally, if you received property in a nontaxable exchange, your basis in that property is the same as the basis of the property you gave up, increased by any money you paid. Hand r block online You must keep the records on the old property, as well as on the new property, until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the new property in a taxable disposition. Hand r block online Records for nontax purposes. Hand r block online   When your records are no longer needed for tax purposes, do not discard them until you check to see if you have to keep them longer for other purposes. Hand r block online For example, your insurance company or creditors may require you to keep them longer than the IRS does. Hand r block online Sample Record System This example illustrates a single-entry system used by Henry Brown, who is the sole proprietor of a small automobile body shop. Hand r block online Henry uses part-time help, has no inventory of items held for sale, and uses the cash method of accounting. Hand r block online These sample records should not be viewed as a recommendation of how to keep your records. Hand r block online They are intended only to show how one business keeps its records. Hand r block online 1. Hand r block online Daily Summary of Cash Receipts This summary is a record of cash sales for the day. Hand r block online It accounts for cash at the end of the day over the amount in the Change and Petty Cash Fund at the beginning of the day. Hand r block online Henry takes the cash sales entry from his cash register tape. Hand r block online If he had no cash register, he would simply total his cash sale slips and any other cash received that day. Hand r block online He carries the total receipts shown in this summary for January 3 ($267. Hand r block online 80), including cash sales ($263. Hand r block online 60) and sales tax ($4. Hand r block online 20), to the Monthly Summary of Cash Receipts. Hand r block online Petty cash fund. Hand r block online   Henry uses a petty cash fund to make small payments without having to write checks for small amounts. Hand r block online Each time he makes a payment from this fund, he makes out a petty cash slip and attaches it to his receipt as proof of payment. Hand r block online He sets up a fixed amount ($50) in his petty cash fund. Hand r block online The total of the unspent petty cash and the amounts on the petty cash slips should equal the fixed amount of the fund. Hand r block online When the totals on the petty cash slips approach the fixed amount, he brings the cash in the fund back to the fixed amount by writing a check to “Petty Cash” for the total of the outstanding slips. Hand r block online (See the Check Disbursements Journal entry for check number 92. Hand r block online ) This restores the fund to its fixed amount of $50. Hand r block online He then summarizes the slips and enters them in the proper columns in the monthly check disbursements journal. Hand r block online 2. Hand r block online Monthly Summary of Cash Receipts This shows the income activity for the month. Hand r block online Henry carries the total monthly net sales shown in this summary for January ($4,865. Hand r block online 05) to his Annual Summary. Hand r block online To figure total monthly net sales, Henry reduces the total monthly receipts by the sales tax imposed on his customers and turned over to the state. Hand r block online He cannot take a deduction for sales tax turned over to the state because he only collected the tax. Hand r block online He does not include the tax in his income. Hand r block online 3. Hand r block online Check Disbursements Journal Henry enters checks drawn on the business checking account in the Check Disbursements Journal each day. Hand r block online All checks are prenumbered and each check number is listed and accounted for in the column provided in the journal. Hand r block online Frequent expenses have their own headings across the sheet. Hand r block online He enters in a separate column expenses that require comparatively numerous or large payments each month, such as materials, gross payroll, and rent. Hand r block online Under the General Accounts column, he enters small expenses that normally have only one or two monthly payments, such as licenses and postage. Hand r block online Henry does not pay personal or nonbusiness expenses by checks drawn on the business account. Hand r block online If he did, he would record them in the journal, even though he could not deduct them as business expenses. Hand r block online Henry carries the January total of expenses for materials ($1,083. Hand r block online 50) to the Annual Summary. Hand r block online Similarly, he enters the monthly total of expenses for telephone, truck/auto, etc. Hand r block online , in the appropriate columns of that summary. Hand r block online 4. Hand r block online Employee Compensation Record This record shows the following information. Hand r block online The number of hours Henry's employee worked in a pay period. Hand r block online The employee's total pay for the period. Hand r block online The deductions Henry withheld in figuring the employee's net pay. Hand r block online The monthly gross payroll. Hand r block online Henry carries the January gross payroll ($520) to the Annual Summary. Hand r block online 5. Hand r block online Annual Summary This annual summary of monthly cash receipts and expense totals provides the final amounts to enter on Henry's tax return. Hand r block online He figures the cash receipts total from the total of monthly cash receipts shown in the Monthly Summary of Cash Receipts. Hand r block online He figures the expense totals from the totals of monthly expense items shown in the Check Disbursements Journal. Hand r block online As in the journal, he keeps each major expense in a separate column. Hand r block online Henry carries the cash receipts total shown in the annual summary ($47,440. Hand r block online 9
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The Hand R Block Online

Hand r block online Publication 534 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Important Change for 1995 Introduction How To Use This Publication Important Change for 1995 Major changes to Publications 534 and 946. Hand r block online  This publication, as well as Publication 946,How To Depreciate Property, has been changed. Hand r block online Publication 534 has been shortened. Hand r block online It no longer contains general information on MACRS and the section 179 deduction. Hand r block online It contains a discussion of the accelerated cost recovery system (ACRS), the ACRS Percentage Tables, a discussion of other methods of depreciation, and a limited discussion of listed property. Hand r block online We expanded Publication 946 by adding material taken from Publication 534. Hand r block online We added more detail to the discussions of the section 179 deduction, the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS), and listed property. Hand r block online We replaced the partialMACRS Percentage Tables with the complete ones from Publication 534. Hand r block online We also added the Table of Class Lives and Recovery Periods from Publication 534. Hand r block online We made these changes to eliminate most of the duplication that existed in the two publications. Hand r block online This will save money and make it easier for you to decide which publication you need. Hand r block online Use this publication to figure depreciation on property you placed in service before 1987; use Publication 946 to figure depreciation on property you placed in service after 1986. Hand r block online Introduction The law allows you to recover your cost in business or income-producing property through yearly tax deductions. Hand r block online You do this by depreciating your property, that is, by deducting some of your cost on your tax return each year. Hand r block online You can depreciate both tangible property, such as a car, building, or machinery, and certain intangible property, such as a copyright or a patent. Hand r block online The amount you can deduct depends on: How much the property cost, When you began using it, How long it will take to recover your cost, and Which of several depreciation methods you use. Hand r block online Depreciation defined. Hand r block online   Depreciation is a loss in the value of property over the time the property is being used. Hand r block online Events that can cause property to depreciate include wear and tear, age, deterioration, and obsolescence. Hand r block online You can get back your cost of certain property, such as equipment you use in your business or property used for the production of income by taking deductions for depreciation. Hand r block online Black's Law Dictionary Amortization. Hand r block online   Amortization is similar to depreciation. Hand r block online Using amortization, you can recover your cost or basis in certain property proportionately over a specific number of years or months. Hand r block online Examples of costs you can amortize are the costs of starting a business, reforestation, and pollution control facilities. Hand r block online You can find information on amortization inchapter 12 of Publication 535, Business Expenses. Hand r block online Alternative minimum tax. Hand r block online   If you use accelerated depreciation for real property, or personal property that is leased to others, you may be liable for the alternative minimum tax. Hand r block online Accelerated depreciation is any method, that allows recovery at a faster rate in the earlier years than the straight line method. Hand r block online For more information, you may wish to see the following: Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax-Individuals, and Publication 542, Tax Information on Corporations. Hand r block online Ordering publications and forms. Hand r block online   To order free publications and forms, 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Hand r block online You can also write to the IRS Forms Distribution Center nearest you. Hand r block online Check your income tax package for the address. Hand r block online   If you have access to a personal computer and a modem, you can also get many forms and publications electronically. Hand r block online See How To Get Forms and Publications in your income tax package for details. Hand r block online Telephone help. Hand r block online   You can call the IRS with your tax question Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Hand r block online Check your telephone book for the local number or you can call1-800-829-1040. Hand r block online Telephone help for hearing-impaired persons. Hand r block online   If you have access to TDD equipment, you can call 1-800-829-4059 with your tax question or to order forms and publications. Hand r block online See your tax package for the hours of operation. Hand r block online How To Use This Publication This publication describes the kinds of property that can be depreciated and the methods used to figure depreciation on property placed in service before 1987. Hand r block online It is divided into three chapters and contains an appendix. Hand r block online Chapter 1 explains the rules for depreciating property under the Accelerated Cost Recovery System (ACRS). Hand r block online Chapter 2 explains the rules for depreciating property first used before 1981. Hand r block online Chapter 3 explains the rules for listed property. Hand r block online Also this chapter defines listed property. Hand r block online The appendix contains the ACRS Percentage Tables. Hand r block online Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications