Regular Corporations pay income tax on the net income that they earn and the tax form they file is the 1120. Corporations must file an 1120 every year whether they have a profit or not. The tax form is due on the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the tax year. A corporation that has a calendar year must file by April 15th. A corporation that uses a fiscal year must file by the 15th day of the 3rd month after their fiscal year ends. If the Corporation owes income tax, the tax is paid when the return is filed.
Corporations generally are required to make estimated tax payments if they expect their tax liability to be more than $500. The estimated taxes are due by the 15th day of the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th months of the tax year. If the corporation uses a calendar year this is April 15th, June 15th, September 15th, and December 15th. If a corporation underpays its estimated tax, they could be assessed a penalty.
These forms are only necessary if your corporation has employees. Form 941 is due quarterly in April, July, October, and January. Use Form 941 to report and pay the taxes you withheld from your employee’s paychecks (income taxes, social security taxes and Medicare tax). If your annual withholding taxes are less than $1,000 you can use Form 944. Form 944 is due annually by January 31st. As an Employer you must also pay Social Security tax and Medicare tax on the wages you pay employees. Use these forms to pay those taxes as well.
There is also a form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees that farmers use.
If your corporation has employees, use form 940 to report and pay your Federal Unemployment Tax. Employers pay unemployment tax. The employees do not pay unemployment taxes.
If your corporation has employees, you will need to file W-2’s and a W-3. Anyone who has had a job and didn’t get paid “under the table” or on a 1099, has received a W-2. The W-2 form is a record of an employee’s wages and taxes that were withheld for the year. The forms are due to the employees by January 31st. A W-3 form with copies of all your W-2’s must be filed with the Social Security Administration by January 31st.
When a corporation pays an individual contractor or unincorporated business, more than $600, it must file form 1099-MISC and form 1096 Transmittal. The 1099-MISC gets sent to the person that was paid and the 1096 gets filed with the IRS. If you decide to file the 1099-MISC’s by yourself, do not forget to file the 1096. A lot of people do not know about the 1096 and get in trouble when they don’t file it. I had a client that got audited and they did not file a 1096. The IRS took away all their deductions for contracted labor. You are required to give your contractors a copy of the 1099 by January 31st. Form 1096 is due February 28th.
There are other 1099 forms that your corporation may need to file, depending on your business. 1099-INT is required if you pay interest. 1099-S may be required if you sell or buy Real Estate. 1099-C is required if you cancel a debt the corporation was owed.
These are the most common forms that a corporation must file, but there are a lot of other tax forms that may be required. If you have a question about a tax form, talk to your CPA or send me an email and I will try to get you an answer.