Tax obligations can be confusing, and they change all the time. Here's what to expect in 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to new tax incentives and programs designed to aid small businesses.
In 2018, major tax legislation resulted in many changes for small businesses, including new rules for pass-through entities and bonus depreciation.
You should work with a certified public accountant (CPA) to ensure you are complying with current regulations and paying the right amount.
This article is for small business owners who want to know what to expect for their tax obligations in 2021.
Although there weren't many major changes to the small business tax code this year, several tax credits, loan programs and acts were created to help businesses weather the effects of COVID-19.
The last major changes to the tax code came in 2018, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which included a lower corporate tax rate, new rules for pass-through businesses and a tax break for some industries.
"The tax changes were so significant, I would imagine that there's still a lot of issues in terms of digesting what has occurred,
As a small business owner, it's important to stay up-to-date on current tax laws so you pay the right amount each year.
Types of small business taxes
Small business taxes vary based on the structure of the business, but here are the five primary small business taxes:
Income tax. Except for partnerships, all businesses file annual income tax returns. Partnerships, however, file information returns.
Self-employment tax. This tax is on your net earnings from self-employment and goes toward your
Social Security and Medicare obligations.
Employment taxes. If you have employees, you have taxes (and forms) related to their Social Security and Medicare taxes, federal income tax withholdings and federal unemployment tax. Payroll
taxes fall into this category.
Excise tax. There are several types of taxes that fall into the excise tax category. This affects you if you make or sell certain types of products; operate a certain business type; use specific equipment, facilities or products; or are paid for qualifying types of services. If that sounds vague, it's because it cuts across many categories. The classic examples of products that carry an excise tax are fuel, tobacco and alcohol.
Estimated taxes. Many businesses (sole proprietors, partnerships and S corporation shareholders) must pay quarterly estimated tax payments. This requirement applies if you do not have taxes withheld from each paycheck or do not have a sufficient amount withheld from each paycheck.