USA Business tax questions

Feb 18, 2020
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United States
I'm getting a little confused about the list of tax forms, filings and mandatory returns and payments I much file and make as a small business owner. I'm interested in starting a small business, and in order to do so I must file a number of different forms and filings annually and quarterly, and payments must be made quarterly to various institutions and on the state, local, and federal level. The business I'm interested in starting is a restaurant business, and for the business I think I'll have to file:

Payroll taxes: The payroll taxes that have to be filed for my business would be payroll taxes that involve withholdings taken from employees that have to be paid quarterly and have accompanying documents filed with them annually and quarterly -- and the taxes include Medicare and social security contributions, and federal, local and state income taxes for the employee. The employer must also pay quarterly payroll taxes that involve their on contributions to tax payments out of their own profits, that include payments to Medicare and social security, federal and state unemployment taxes, and maybe workers compensation and disability insurance payments --but those aren't taxes. The Medicare, social security, and federal and state unemployment taxes have to be paid quarterly and have accompanying documents filed with them quarterly and annually.

Sales taxes: Restaurants in New York State have to be sales taxes quarterly to the state and municipality their located in, and accompanying documents have to be filed with them quarterly and annually.

Employer personal taxes: The employer of the restaurant must pay quarterly personal income taxes to the federal government, state government, and city government, and the accompanying documents must be filed with them quarterly and annually. The employer must also pay Medicare and social security payments to the federal government annually, and filed accompanying documents with them to the federal government quarterly and annually.

Is that correct? Do the federal, state, and local governments all have different forms they have to have filed to them quarterly and annually and different organizations they have to be filed to? In New York state I think I'd have to file papers with the IRS, and the New York state taxation department, and the department that handles municipal taxes locally --but I'm not sure. I'm in New York City. I'm unaware of what their tax department is called, if they have one.


Werner Reisacher

VIP Member
Jun 30, 2017
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And I am not surprised that you are a little confused. Opening a Restaurant in NYC is in itself a challenging task. Handling all related administrative and tax matters related to such a business is an additional challenge.
Unless you do have a solid background in the Restaurant business and are experienced in handling all L/I, Health Department, Sales Tax, and related issues, I strongly recommend that you originally hire somebody to get you up to speed. You do not need an expert but somebody who has practical experience in the restaurant business. L/I issues such as accurate hourly controls, liability issues with accidents, employee disputes need full-time attention. Health Department inspections and the maintenance of an ongoing safety control system is another area that can get you closed temporarily very fast. (staff must have permits)
All of your employees are W2 workers. Restaurants cannot hire waiters as Contractors (1099.)
The business is cash-driven. Tips is an all-time trouble maker that affects both, the payroll and the net sales reporting.
In short, you will find out that the actual income tax reports are the easiest part of handling the administrative matters of a Restaurant. Therefore, get some help until you feel comfortable.

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