Small Business White Papers

Forms of interest to small businesses


Welcome to the world of paperwork. As a small business owner you'll find yourself wading through a sea of forms. Avoid the hassle of handling the important, but time consuming tasks by having a third-party service provider with expertise like ADP do it for you. Here's a look at some of what you'll need.

You'll need this to apply for your Employer Identification Number

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If your employee does not have a social security number, he or she should file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, with SSA.

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The Wage and Tax Statement is given to each employee between December 31 and January 31. Keep undelivered W-2s (copies B and C) in your records for four years.

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Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. This form should be completed by your independent contractors before they begin working for you.

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The Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate determines the amount to be withheld from wages, and is filled out by the employee. This is to be sent to the IRS if an employee claims more than 10 withholding allowances, or claims exemption from withholding when his or her wages are normally more than $200 a week.

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The totals on Form W-3, called the Transmittal of Wage & Tax Statements, must equal the totals from all Forms 941 filed for the year. If filing on paper, you must file with SSA by February 28 every year you issue Forms W-2.

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Form 940
This form is the Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. You must pay the tax and file Form 940 if you pay wages of $1,500 or more in any calendar quarter to employees or have one or more employees at any time in each of 20 or more calendar weeks -- consecutive or not.

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Form 940EZ
You may be able to file Form 940EZ, a simplified Federal unemployment tax return, if you meet three tests: you made state unemployment contributions to only one state; you paid all your state contributions by January 31, (February 10th if you deposited all FUTA tax when due), and all of your Federal unemployment tax wages were also taxable for your state's unemployment tax.

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Form 941
The Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return is required if you have employees. It is due the last day of the month after each quarter ends. File only one Form 941 per quarter and report only one quarter on a single form. It's simplest to use the preaddressed form mailed to you or to file electronically, if you prefer.

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Form 1096
The Annual Summary and Transmittal of US Information Returns, is used to transmit copies A of Forms 1099, 1098, 5498 and W-2G to the IRS. If you are filing on paper, you must do so by February 28, or by March 31, if filing electronically.

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Form 1099-Misc
You must send this to non-employees who you paid more than $600 during the year for services performed in the course of your business. This is for individual independent contractors, not corporations. You must provide this information by January 31.You will need the social security number or EIN of the independent contractor to complete this form.

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Form I-9
Both you and your employee must complete the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

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Form 5500
The Form 5500 Annual Return/Report is used to report information concerning employee benefit plans and Direct Filing Entities (DFEs). Any administrator or sponsor of an employee benefit plan subject to ERISA must file information about each plan every year.

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WH-380 is an optional FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993) form that may be used to obtain a medical certification from a health care provider.

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WH-381 is an optional FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993) form that an employer may use to respond to an employee's request for leave.

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Form 720
The Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return consists of several broad categories of taxes, including: environmental taxes; communications and air transportation taxes; fuel taxes; tax on the first retail sale of heavy trucks, trailers and tractors; and manufacturers’ taxes on the sale or use of a variety of different articles.

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The "New Business" section is not intended to replace legal or accounting services. If legal, accounting, or other professional assistance is required, the service of an attorney or certified public accountant should be sought.

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