A Beginner’s Guide to Filing Your Taxes


This generally must be done on the date of hire and whenever there are updates. You have to retain these notices for the period of time designated by the state. Records required for tax purposes must be kept on file for at least four years. All others should be saved in accordance with federal or jurisdiction requirements, whichever is greater.

Ultimately, you’re responsible for the deposits and can even be personally liable. In fact, the IRS can target business owners, check signers and others who had a role or could have had a role in the failure to pay. And the consequences can be steep, including prison time. Basically, if your income only came from wages and some bank interest, and you don’t have any income adjustments in the form of deductions, use the 1040EZ form. If you’re young, in college, or don’t own a home, this probably describes you.

Who needs to file Form 1040?

Business Service Online offers three options to file W-2s electronically. You can use compatible payroll software to upload files using the Wage File Upload application. We recommend that you test the wage file using our free service Accuwage before submitting it to Social Security.

When tax season rolled around, I asked my dad if he could initiate me into the secret teachings of the 1040 form and accompanying instruction book. I remember going through the worksheets and filling out the different lines with pencil first, and then having my mom double check my calculations, just like dad did.

Schedule C

Who We Serve StartupsStart strong with service that will grow with you as you scale your business. Time & AttendanceIntegrated time and attendance tracking, PTO request and accrual management, scheduling and reporting. The Art of Manliness participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links. We only recommend products we genuinely like, and purchases made through our links support our mission and the free content we publish here on AoM. Make a payment at any time, whether you are at home or on the go. Once you’ve filled in your Form W-3, you’re ready to file with the SSA.

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If you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll include Schedule C with your Form 1040 to report income or loss from your business. At Keeper, we’re on a mission to help people overcome the complexity of taxes. That sometimes leads us to generalize in our educational content. If you plan to itemize your home office deduction instead of claiming the simplified amount, you’ll need to complete Form 8829 and attach it to the return.

Skill of the Week: Change a Flat Tire

Independent contractors count as statutory The Beginners Guide To Filling Out Form W in certain situations, including when a full-time salesperson mainly works for one company. Independent contractors and folks who are self-employed need a 1099 form instead. But if your employees have made at least $600 in the tax year, you’ll need to send them a W-2 by the January 31 deadline.

  • Like employees, you may also have other state and local tax burdens depending on your jurisdiction.
  • VITA/TCE volunteers provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers.
  • You’ll also have to determine your payroll frequency and the sort of benefits you’ll offer employees, since these are usually deducted from their wages.
  • If a Form 1099-K is received in error and a corrected Form 1099-K can’t be obtained, follow the guidance for individuals provided on the Understanding Your Form 1099-K webpage.
  • I remember going through the worksheets and filling out the different lines with pencil first, and then having my mom double check my calculations, just like dad did.

«There is too much risk that an error will be made in the various calculations that go into the return.» If this sounds like you, read our next article on our payroll packages to learn which option may be right for your business. Want to know more about your responsibilities when it comes to payroll before you decide? Small & Medium BusinessesGrow and evolve with strategic guidance and all-in-one solutions for payroll, HR and benefits. Conveniently check the balance of your account, payment history, and payment due date. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.

As an employee, the IRS usually requires your employer to withhold income taxes from each paycheck you receive. Your employer will not use an arbitrary percentage to withhold; instead, it’s based on your expected annual compensation and the information you provide on a W-4 form. Form W-4—also known as Employee’s Withholding Certificate—is an IRS tax document employers use to determine how much of an employee’s wages to withhold from each paycheck for income taxes. If you have multiple jobs, or if you are married filing jointly and you and your spouse each have a job, you’ll also complete Step 3 on the W-4 form for the highest-paying job.

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