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The Basics of Payroll Taxes


As a business owner, you are responsible for certain taxes when it comes to your payroll. If you have employees, then this is something you need to know about. Then again, if you are self employed and are the only one to work for your company, then the taxes are handled differently. Otherwise, payroll taxes are something that you have to handle as a business. It is important to know about these ahead of time so that you don’t do anything wrong. After all, your company could get in big trouble with the IRS if you don’t handle the situation right.

There are two main ways that you handle the payroll taxes for your company. You pay some of the taxes yourself and then withhold the rest of the taxes straight from your employee’s payroll checks. So, in essence, both you and your employees are paying the payroll taxes. It’s a joint venture.

There are several different payroll taxes that you need to pay the government. The federal income tax should be fully taken out of your employee’s check. Then there is the FICA tax, which you split payment with your employee. FICA includes social security and Medicare taxes. You withhold half of the amount from their paycheck and then you pay the other half from your own company reserves. Also, depending on the state your company is based in, you may also need to pay state income taxes, which you would withhold from your employees.

In most cases, you can set up your payroll software to automatically withhold the correct payroll taxes from your employees. How much you take depends on how much your employees make. It also depends on other factors that you will learn when you first hire them and have them fill out a W-4 form. If you get this all set up with the software you use to cut your paychecks, then you won’t have to worry and the program can do the work for you. This is at least the case for the taxes you withhold from your employee. You still need to be mindful of the portion of the payroll taxes that is left up to your business to pay.

If you handle things correctly, you can still pay these taxes while also having your business run smoothly. Either way, you need to pay them, so it’s good to get it running well regardless. And remember, it could cost your company a lot of money, sometimes in the millions, if you calculate your payroll taxes wrong. Keep this in mind so that it doesn’t happen.

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