The Basics of Filing Business Taxes

The basics of filing business taxes

For most entrepreneurs, handling business taxes is a daunting but necessary task. The complexities of tax preparation often lead business owners to procrastinate or neglect proper record keeping and tax deadlines. Nevertheless, following these basic steps can simplify the process and guide you as you prepare to file your business tax return.


As a business owner, it is very important that you keep the various tax deadlines in mind as you go about your daily tasks. Failure to adhere to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) deadlines can result in interest and penalties that accumulate over time. The most well-known tax deadline is July 15, but businesses may have additional tax deadlines depending on their legal entity type.

In general, keep the following dates in mind:

    • January 31, 2020: Deadline to send out W-2, W-3, and 1099-Misc Forms to employees and to the IRS
    • February 28, 2020: If filing by paper, deadline for filing 2019 information returns such as Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, and W-2G (if filing electronically, other dates apply)
    • March 16, 2020: Filing deadline for partnerships and S corporations
    • March 31, 2020: Deadline for electronically filing 2019 information returns such as Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, and W-2G
    • July 15, 2020: Deadline for first-quarter estimated tax payments and 2019 tax returns for sole proprietorships and corporations
    • June 15, 2020: Deadline for second-quarter estimated tax payments
    • September 15, 2020: Deadline for third-quarter estimated tax payments; extension deadline for partnerships and S corporations
    • October 15, 2020: Final deadline for filing the 2019 tax return extension for individuals, sole proprietorships, and corporations
    • December 15, 2020: Deadline for fourth-quarter estimated tax payments for corporations
    • January 15, 2021: Deadline for fourth-quarter estimated tax payments for individuals


The IRS allows a business to choose its method of accounting. The two primary options are the cash method and the accrual method. The cash method allows a business to account for income and expenses when the money is actually paid and spent, whereas the accrual method accounts for money when it is earned or billed.


Employment taxes refer to the taxes a company must pay for the individuals employed by the company. This includes Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) taxes for individuals who work for themselves and Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes for employees, both of which cover Medicare and social security taxes. Employment taxes are not paid for independent contractors because no tax withholding occurs for independent contractors. Contractors are responsible for paying their own self-employment taxes. In such instances, employers provide contractors with 1099-MISC Forms instead of W-2s.


Finally, it is not uncommon for tax returns to be filed with minor mistakes like the wrong Social Security number or address. Carefully review your tax documents before submitting them to ensure that they are accurate.


If you are preparing to file your business taxes and would like additional guidance, call our office to schedule a consultation today. Our experienced attorneys can assist you in reviewing your records and understanding the legal implications of your tax decisions.

For more information about what The Browne Firm can do for you, contact us online or call (914) 290-5622 for assistance!

Author Bio

Danielle Browne is the founder and managing attorney of The Browne Firm, a New York-based estate planning and business law firm. Danielle leverages her background, serving as general counsel for a Fortune 500 company and working with startups to represent clients in entity formation, intellectual property protection, contract drafting, estate planning, and more.

With more than ten years of experience as an attorney and business executive, she has represented clients ranging from entrepreneurs and small businesses to artists and Fortune 500 companies. Danielle received her Juris Doctor cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law and is licensed to practice in New York. She has received numerous honors for her work, including being named a 2015 Future Leader by the WNBA President while serving as general counsel for the Atlanta Dream.

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