Tax forms are paper or online forms that are used when filing a tax return or when keeping official tax records. The U.S. Federal government, state governments, and municipal governments make official forms available for filing and payment of income, employment, property, sales and other forms of taxes. If taxes are paid without the proper form or with a form that contains inadvertent or deliberate errors, the taxes are not considered paid in full and penalties may result.
Today, it is easy to download and even to fill out many federal tax forms online. These include official employment records (W-2) as well as personal and business tax returns, employment tax returns of all kinds, investment tax related forms, Social Security and Medicare forms, and most every other form that a business owner will use.
Payroll services automatically and correctly fill out the common forms and submit them directly to the IRS or state authorities online. If you chose to manually file forms, most can be downloaded and filled out by hand, and some forms may only be available by mail or at state or local tax offices.
Business owners should be aware of which tax-related forms need to be filed when, and to make sure that these forms are filed accurately and on time. Penalties for failure to file necessary federal and state forms, and to keep proper employment and related records by requesting that employees fill out requisite forms, can be steep. Of course, intentionally understating any type of income on a form is a criminal offense, but accuracy in filling out forms is necessary to prevent inadvertent underpayment of taxes which also incurs penalties.
Obtaining all necessary tax-related forms is now easier than ever thanks to the Internet, and especially when it comes to federal forms. Business owners, not the tax agencies, are responsible for obtaining and completing all necessary forms. Therefore, advice from an accountant or tax professional may be necessary even for small business owners who may be under the impression that they only need to file a few standard and simple federal and state tax forms.