What New Jersey Small Business Owners Need to Know About Income Tax Returns

new jersey income tax returns

When tax season comes around, there are several factors to keep in mind as a small business owner in New Jersey; specifically with income tax returns.

Tracking taxable income and ensuring compliance with requisite tax forms can be an ongoing struggle with the pressures of running a business. On top of everything else, a small business owner also needs to make sure that he files his appropriate personal income tax on the earnings they paid themselves from their company versus the business tax return from company income earned.

Income tax filings

It is difficult enough to properly file income taxes, but with all the capital expenses a small business owner makes, a sizable tax bill can be even more challenging without seeking loans. Without enough money to pay for taxes on profits, this is a particularly pressing issue for small business owners who have spent their remaining funds on capital expenditures for the year.

Part of the issue for companies of this size is the amount of effort to collect sales taxes from customers. In each state that a New Jersey small business conducts sales, the owner is required to collect the sales tax as applicable to the state. These taxes cannot be written off on returns because sales taxes are considered personal liabilities to the owner of the business.

A common misconception of collecting sales tax is that the revenue earned from those sales do not belong to the company. These earnings need calculation and paid to the federal and state governments.

Structure the business properly

Small business owners in New Jersey typically structure their companies as C corporations, S corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. These structures differ for tax purposes - specifically whether the owner pays personal or business income:

  • C corps: Pay income taxes at the business level.
  • LLCs, S corps and partnerships: Pay personal or business taxes on their share of the company's income.

LLCs, S corps and partnerships are beneficial in New Jersey because the rate for individual returns has been lower than C corps since 2006. In fact, according to a New Jersey Business interview with Ronald J. Ruggeri, principal of MSPC Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, PC, C corps are not common in the state anymore.

"We don't really see too many C corporations these days; that way, if you operate at a loss in any given year, you get to carry that loss forward to reduce future taxable income or be entitled to a refund," Ruggeri explained. "New Jersey looks at each year in a vacuum; whatever happens in that year happens in that year, and it can put small business owners at a disadvantage."

If you are a New Jersey small business owner and you are unsure of your personal or business tax obligations to the state, the attorneys at Scarinci Hollenbeck can help. We can sit down with you to help you navigate through your tax requirements so that you can continue to grow your business without tax liability. So if you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Frank Brunetti, at 201-806-3364.

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Frank Brunetti has been practicing law for over thirty years in the areas of estate and wealth preservation, tax planning for business entities and complex tax matters. He is admitted to the New Jersey and New York Bars as well as the United States Tax Court. Mr. Brunetti provides representation in federal and state tax matters, IRS controversies, estate and business planning and guidance for the preparation of wills and trusts as well as the administration of estates. For more information, please visit Frank Brunetti's full biography at Scarinci Hollenbeck

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