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startup tax tips credits advice

How to Calculate Your Startup Business Taxes

By | Tax, Tax Credits | No Comments

All tech startups face one common issue: paying taxes to the IRS. You are still trying to find your footing in the business world, and just when you think you couldn’t spend more money, the government steps in to remind you that you have a statutory obligation to pay taxes.

Keeping up with your tax obligations can be tedious, but any misstep can result in huge tax bills.  Here are the most common taxes you should always keep in mind.

Are Tech Companies Tax Exempt?

No. Tech companies are required to pay federal tax. For a company to be tax-exempt, the founders shouldn’t make any profits from it. These companies generally fall under religion, public social benefits, culture & arts, human services, or health organizations.

Even though tax-exempt companies don’t have to pay federal tax, they are still liable for local income & state tax, and all donations made to them are tax-deductible.

Which Types of Taxes Should Tech Companies Calculate?

The type of taxes you pay are mainly dependent on your business structure and not the industry. Tax obligations often change on an annual basis, so it’s important to keep yourself regularly informed.

As a business owner, you must start planning for the following taxes.

1.   Employment tax

If your startup already has employees, you will have to file employment taxes to the federal government.

These taxes include income taxes that you withhold from the employees and submit it to the IRS on their behalf, including; Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes, Additional Medicare Tax, Federal income tax, and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes.

2.   Income tax

These are taxes imposed by the government on individuals and businesses based on their income. According to the law, income taxes should be filed annually, so that one is able to determine their tax obligations.

Income taxes are calculated based on the structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporations). If your tech startup is a partnership, you won’t have to pay income taxes but will be required to file an information return.

3.   Excise tax

Excise tax is not mandatory for all businesses. It is only imposed on businesses that deal with manufacturing-specific goods (fuel, tobacco, alcohol, etc.) or those that use certain facilities and equipment or businesses. Most often, the excise tax translates as increased prices for the consumer. If you also sell tech products, find out if they are liable for excise tax and the forms you have to file.

4.   Self-Employment tax

For employees, the employer withholds a certain amount of money from their paychecks for Medicare taxes and social security. As an entrepreneur, however, you have to pay these taxes on your own via self-employment taxes.

Only 92.35% of your net income is subjected to this tax, and to calculate this, you deduct all your expenses from your gross earnings. There are exemptions to this tax, but generally, all earnings from self-employment above $400 should be taxed.

The Schedule SE on Form 1040 can be used to calculate this tax.

5.   Estimated taxes

This tax is imposed on income that is not subject to withholding, including interest, alimony, rent, dividends, etc. If you have additional income from other sources, it is advisable to conduct a paycheck checkup regularly, to avoid being hit with hefty bills at the end of the year. 

Let Incentax Help You Stay On Top of Your Taxes

Understanding the complex rules and requirements for tax incentives can be difficult and you may need a professional tax incentives advisor to help you navigate these murky waters. We are here to guide you on how you can get the most out of your tax credits and incentives.

Contact us today for a consultation on how you can effectively use your startup’s tax credits!

startup tax credits

The Use Of Tax Credits to Grow Your Startup Strategically

By | Startup, Tax Credits | No Comments

One of the greatest obstacles that startups face is the acquisition of enough capital to fund their business idea.  Financial management becomes an even more essential concept. Business ventures have various financial demands which can be a strain before the business gets to break even or become profitable. Therefore businesses have to minimize their costs and that includes taxes. For startups, how can a company use tax credits to grow their business strategically?

Startup Deductions

Did you know that you get to qualify for deductions in your first year of business? Whatever your startup costs, be it marketing or research, you are allowed a $5,000 deduction of organization costs and $5,000 of business costs if your startup total costs are $50,000 – $55,000.  However, if they are greater than $55,000, you do not qualify for these deductions.

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits

R&D tax credits are offered to enterprises involved in developing or designing prototypes and processes and products like software, or the improvement of the same to reduce their tax liability. These taxes are meant to encourage startups to invest in research and development. They can really help offset the expenses that startups incur in research and development.

This allows entrepreneurs to be less apprehensive about the risks of building their startup. Businesses with annual business receipts of less than $5,000,000 can claim a $250,000 credit for up to 5 years to offset against their FICA taxes. A business can choose to either claim the credit or offset against their social security taxes.

What are the requirements for claiming R&D tax credits?

You need business records to claim R&D tax credits. Companies must ensure that they document their research activities for them to make a claim. This means they have to indicate the expenses that were incurred in each activity.  It is also important to substantiate which employees were involved in the R&D activities through proper record keeping.

There are other strategies a company can use to ensure that they reduce their tax liability, including:

Retirement Contributions

Contribution to a retirement plan can earn you tax benefits. This includes personal contributions, and if you have employees IRA plans are ideal. There are also plans like SEP which allow you to make contributions on behalf of your employees discreetly.

Having a Home Office

If you are one of those who have started their business in a garage, did you know that having a home office can reduce your taxes? If you use your space as an office on a regular basis and it is exclusively for business you get to deduct $5 dollars per square foot of expenses for up to 300 square feet.

Business Registration

How have you registered your company? This is important because it will influence how you get to pay taxes. You get to save on taxes by registering your business as an S Corporation. Sole proprietors are the least taxed and C Corporations sometimes get to be double taxed.

Note: It is not advisable to lower your taxable income so that you do not get to pay taxes as it is counterproductive as you are trying to make profits. Instead, maximize your retirement income by getting an IRA savings plan for you and your employees.

Starting a business is not easy and it involves a lot of risks but that should not be a reason to give up on a good idea. With the right information, you can grow your business despite capital constraints. Contact us for consultation or for more information on how you can be tax-efficient and how you can strategically grow your business.