As a small business owner, you are responsible for a number of taxes, most of which are collected or reported quarterly. The federal and state government should send you the majority of these forms well before they are due or they are available on the internet. If they do not, it is your responsibility to submit the forms and any taxes owed before the due date.
- Calculate your state unemployment (SUTA) taxes, if applicable. These will vary by state, so contact your state tax office (see link below) if you have not received the SUTA form to find out what your SUTA tax rate is and how to file and deposit your tax.
- Calculate your federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes. If you paid more than $1,500 in wages in a year for an employee or you employed someone for 20 weeks in 2012 or 2013, you must pay FUTA tax. To calculate your tax, multiply each employee’s wages (up to $7,000) by .6%. However, if your state does not require an unemployment tax, that rate may be higher (as much as 6%). Wages over $7,000 are not subject to FUTA tax. FUTA deposits are made quarterly via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). However, you do not need to deposit your FUTA tax liability until it reaches $500. In that case, pay all FUTA tax by January 31 of the following year when you file IRS Form 940 or 940-EZ.
- Calculate your quarterly sales tax if you do not report it monthly. To do this, add up all of your in state sales for the quarter. Multiply your sales by your state tax rate. Tax rates vary by county and city, so be sure to keep that in mind when determining what rate to use. If you choose to use your city’s rate, you may be slightly over or under. Visit your state’s tax commission website (see link below), to file your sales tax. If you have your state sales tax permit number, you will use this to file.
- Complete and submit Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. If you did not receive a Form 941 by mail, download it online. Include the amounts withheld from employees’ pay for federal income tax for the quarter. Itemize the amounts you withheld and paid for Social Security and Medicare for the quarter. Pay the difference between the amount of tax due and what you have deposited. Include Form 941-V with your check if you have a balance due.
- Prepare a quarterly withholding tax return for your state. Visit your tax commission website to download applicable forms.
- Calculate your quarterly estimated tax payments if you anticipate a business federal income tax liability. To submit your payment, download a 1040ES and fill it out. Use your 2012 tax return as a guide. Also, download an estimated tax payment form for your state.
Many individuals who decide to start a business, or who already own a business, find that they don’t have the necessary funding to make the business grow the way it should. For situations like this, government and other types of grants are wonderful resources. Finding a grant can help your business thrive. For veterans, there are several different avenues one can take when it comes to small businesses. Below, you’ll learn how to find small business grants for veterans.
- Visit the Small Business Administration. Start by contacting your local branch of the Small Business Administration or SBA. The SBA is widely recognized as one of the best resources for small business owners and is highly reputed. They keep small business owners and entrepreneurs informed about the latest grant offers and programs for small businesses. You can find your local chapter of the SBA by visiting http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html or simply visit the official website at www.SBA.gov.
- Visit Veterans Affairs. The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs may also be a great resource for you. While the VA does not give grants and typically handle more medical topics and situations, they can give you some great information regarding grants and opportunities. In fact, they will often provide extra assistance that allows veterans to obtain the things they need, such as grants or loans. Contact your local VA about helping you obtain a small business grant or at least pointing you in the right direction.
- Check Grants.gov. This website contains an up-to-date listing of all grants offered by the government. This includes business grants. Often, these grants are designated for specific individuals or people in specific regions. Using the keyword search tool on the site, search for grants for business as well as grants for veterans. Spend time going through the results and checking the details to see if these grants will be relevant to your needs. If so, you can obtain an application via the site as well.
- Consider Business.gov. Visit www.Business.gov and use their keyword search tool to look for grants as well. This is another site that maintains and up to date listing of grants available through the US government for individuals to start or maintain a business. However, the grants listed on this site are specifically for businesses and not other situations or needs.. Search the site to find relevant grants and use the information here to fill out applications for small business grants.
Starting a new business or increasing an existing one creates a demand for capital to buy equipment and supplies, rent space, hire employees, advertise and meet other needs. Qualifying for a small business loan is one of the most common ways to fund a small enterprise in Texas. Several state programs, Lone Star banks and even the federal Small Business Administration stand ready with funds for qualified small businesses.
- Apply for a business loan with ACCION Texas. ACCION Texas provides information for the potential business owner to assist in determining and understanding the qualifications for eligibility and the process of applying for a small business loan. Financial lenders like ACCION Texas enable individual and organizational growth by striving for ways to help bring successful achievement for the business owner.
- Submit an application to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides multiple opportunities for individuals and business owners to apply for business loans. A well-structured small business plan details how the owner plans to get the enterprise running and profitable. The educational information with SBA clarifies the laws in Texas, opportunities for training, resources for the borrower.
- Apply online with the Texas Small Business Loan Fund and Business.Gov. The websites Texas Small Business Loan Fund and Business.Gov allow the business owner to search for the right grant or loan program. The websites provide details to help business owners determine and understand eligibility and the process of applying.
- Talk to your current bank’s executives to determine whether the institution has capital available for a small-business enterprise. If approved, the relationship with the bank could open new doors of opportunity. Obviously, being a longtime customer and having a good credit history encourages consideration when applying for small business loans.
Keeping the books for a small business involves recording all financial transactions, organizing backup documentation and setting the stage for the accounting to begin. According to the IRS, there is no set rule as to how a small business should handle its bookkeeping as long as income and expenses are recorded. This being true, a small business can easily create a productive system for the books by applying just a few of the most basic bookkeeping procedures.
- Create separate chronological records of all financial business transactions starting with revenues or income. To simplify the process, open a business checking account and record income as individual or batch bank deposits. Since, for audit purposes, each transaction must be documented, attach income receipts, charge slips and invoices to the corresponding bank deposit slip. Expenses that may be used for deductions at tax time such as travel, transportation, food, lodging and some entertainment expenses are treated differently than regular business purchases and expenses and should be recorded and documented in a separate journal.
- Create a separate chronological record of all expenditures. Simplify the process by strictly writing checks and using a designated debit card to pay for business purchases and expenses. To provide backup documents, keep receipts, invoices and slips with the corresponding cancelled checks and bank statements.
- Reconcile the bank statement each month and keep a neat and orderly check register. Doing this will balance the income and expenditures and automatically create perfect records in the books month after month.
- Record and document the expenses that will be claimed as tax deductions at the end of the year. These types of expenses — which include travel costs, transportation expenses, food, lodging and some entertainment expenses — are treated differently than regular business purchases and expenses and should be recorded and documented in a separate journal.
- Create a journal or ledger recording information about the assets of the business. Assets are anything of value owned by the business including bank accounts, money markets, stocks and bonds, certificates of deposit, investments, real estate, machinery, land, furniture and appliances. Backup documentation required might include account numbers, dates the accounts were opened, monthly payment schedules, loan papers and utility bills.
- Create a journal or ledger recording information about the liabilities of the business. Liabilities are things that are owed by the company to other businesses and persons and include vender payments, bank loans, vehicle loans, personal loans, mortgage payments and bills. Backup documentation would include loan papers, invoices, payment booklets and credit card bills.
- Use the information recorded for income and expenditures to prepare a monthly Income statement or profit and loss statement. For this financial statement, simply deduct the total expense figure from the total income figure. The result will be either a positive number representing a profit for the month or it will be a negative number representing a loss. It helps to prepare year-to-date profit and loss statements along with the monthly statements to get a clearer picture of now the company is progressing.
- Use the information recorded for the assets and liabilities to formulate a balance sheet. A balance sheet and an income statement are the two financial statements that provide the most telling information to a business. A balance sheet subtracts total liabilities from total assets, leaving a figure that represents the business’s net worth or owner equity.