In recognition of Small Business Week May 4-8, 2015, the IRS has highlighted special tax information regarding self-employed landscape and gardening professionals, including the webinar "Business Taxes for the Self-Employed: The Basics." Topics included are:
- Accounting Method. An accounting method is a set of rules about when to report income and expenses. Many small businesses use the cash method. Under the cash method, you normally report income in the year that you receive it and deduct expenses in the year that you pay them. Find out more in IRS Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods.
- Business Taxes. There are four general types of business taxes. They are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax. You may have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax if you make a profit. Self-employment tax, or SE tax, includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. You may need to pay your taxes by making estimated tax payments. If you do, use IRS Direct Pay to pay them. It's the fast, easy and secure way to pay from your checking or savings account.
- Tax Forms. There are two forms to report self-employment income. You must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040. You may use Schedule C-EZ if you had expenses less than $5,000 and meet other conditions. See the form instructions to find out if you can use the form. Use Schedule SE, Self-Employment Tax, to figure your SE tax. If you owe this tax, make sure you file the schedule with your federal tax return.
- Allowable Deductions. You can deduct expenses you paid to run your business that are both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in the gardening or landscaping industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and proper for your trade or business. View the webinar "Small Business Owners: Get All the Tax Benefits You Deserve" to learn more.
- Business Use of a Vehicle. If you use your car or truck for your business, you may be able to deduct the costs to operate the vehicle for the business use. Refer to IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses for details.
See "IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2015-06: Federal Tax Help for Landscapers and Gardeners is Just a Click Away."