During the National Small Business Week, May 1 to 7, the IRS highlighted tax benefits and resources tied to the theme for this year’s celebration: ” Building a Better America through Entrepreneurship.”.The IRS urged business taxpayers to take advantage of tax benefits for 2022, make estimated tax payments electronically, e-file payroll tax returns, and check out the Work Opportunity Credit.

The IRS urged business taxpayers to begin planning now to take advantage of the enhanced 100 percent deduction for business meals and other tax benefits available to them when filing their 2022 income tax return. For 2021 and 2022 only, businesses can generally deduct the full cost of business-related food and beverages purchased from a restaurant. Further, more information about this provision is provided in IRS Publication 463, Travel, Gift, and Car Expenses.

Additionally, many business owners may qualify for the home office deduction, also known as the deduction for business use of a home. Usually, a business owner must use a room or other identifiable portion of the home exclusively for business on a regular basis. Those eligible can figure the deduction using either the regular method or the simplified method. To choose the regular method, taxpayers can fill out and attach Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home. Alternatively, business owners can choose the simplified method, based on a six-line worksheet found in the instructions to Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. Under both the regular and simplified methods, business expenses in excess of the gross income limitation are not deductible.

Further, the IRS informed taxpayers about a variety of other tax benefits often available to business owners. This includes business start-up expenses, qualified business income deduction and the health-insurance deduction for self-employed individuals. Finally, more information about these and other tax benefits is provided in Publication 535, Business Expenses.

Making Estimated Tax Payments Electronically

The IRS reminded all businesses to make estimated tax payments quarterly and that making them electronically is fast, easy and safe. Estimated tax is used to pay income tax and other taxes including self-employment tax and alternative minimum tax. If a taxpayer doesn’t pay enough tax through withholding and estimated tax payments, they may be charged a penalty. However, generally, paying quarterly estimated taxes will lessen or even eliminate any penalties.

Further, the IRS informed that individuals, including sole proprietors, partners and S corporation shareholders, generally must make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when their return is filed. For corporations, the threshold is $500 or more. Self-employed individuals and gig workers who also receive salaries and wages from an employer can avoid paying estimated tax by asking their employer to withhold more tax from their paycheck. They can check the Tax Withholding Estimator on the IRS website for more help. Individuals generally use Form 1040-ES to figure estimated tax while corporations generally use Form 1120-W.

Additionally, for estimated tax purposes, the year is divided into four payment periods. However, alternative payment periods are allowed if enough tax is paid in by the end of the quarter. Further, taxpayers can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System for all their federal tax payments. Individual Taxpayers can also create an IRS Online Account or use Direct Pay, a debit, credit card or digital wallet to make their estimated tax payments. The 2022 Form 1040-ES can help taxpayers estimate their first quarterly tax payment. Moreover, taxpayers may also send estimated tax payments with Form 1040-ES by mail. Finally, the IRS also provided a list of resources available to taxpayers, including the Small Business Tax Workshop and E-News for Small Businesses among others.

E-File Payroll Tax Returns

The IRS has urged small businesses to take advantage of filing their payroll tax returns and making tax payments electronically. Further, the IRS announced that payroll taxes include federal income tax withheld from employee wages, as well as both the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Payroll taxes also include the Federal Unemployment Tax.

Additionally, the IRS informed taxpayers that taxpayers who file on paper miss out on all the advantages of e-filing. E-filing saves time and is secure and accurate. The IRS acknowledges receipt of an electronically filed return within 24 hours. With electronic filing, any mistake is often discovered and fixed quickly. Additionally, employers choosing to e-file themselves will need to purchase IRS-approved software. Alternatively, the Authorized IRS e-file Providers Locator Service can help employers find a suitable tax professional.

Finally, the IRS informed that though some employers can choose to pay their taxes when they file their payroll tax returns, most need to deposit them regularly with the Treasury Department instead. Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT). A fast, easy and free way to do that is through the Electronic Federal Tax Payments System (EFTPS). Payments can be made either online or by phone. To enroll or for more information, taxpayers can visit EFTPS.gov or call 800-555-4477.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The IRS reminded employers to check out the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for hiring long-term unemployment recipients and other group of workers facing significant barriers to employment. The WOTC encourages employers to hire workers certified as members of any of ten targeted groups facing barriers to employment. The WOTC is available for wages paid to certain individuals who begin work on or before December 31, 2025. Further, the IRS also provided a list of the ten groups mentioned above.

Additionally, the IRS announced that to qualify for the credit, an employer must first request certification by submitting IRS Form 8850, Pre-screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit, to their state workforce agency (SWA). It must be submitted to the SWA within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work. Further, employers can help new hires by making sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their pay and encourage them to use the Tax Withholding Estimator. This tool will also help them correctly fill out Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate.