IRS Publications for Your Business Including Informative Bradford Tax Institute Summaries

Find IRS publications of interest to the single owner and husband-wife business, with hyperlinks and informative synopses. (Click on the publication number to view the IRS publication in PDF form. Scroll down to read a brief overview of each publication.)









Accounting Periods and Methods




Bankruptcy Tax Guide




Basis of Assets





Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook




Business Expenses




Business Use of Your Home




Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts




Collection Appeal Rights





Depreciating Property Placed in Service Before 1987





Do you Qualify for Relief under Section 530?




Employer’s Tax Guide, (Circular E)




Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide





Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refunds




Household Employer’s Tax Guide




How to Depreciate Property




Independent Contractor or Employee




Miscellaneous Deductions




Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules





Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney




Recordkeeping for Individuals




Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000




Retirement Plans for Small Business





Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension (SARSEP) for Small Businesses




Sales and other Dispositions of Assets




Starting a Business and Keeping Records




Taxable and Nontaxable Income





Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses




Tax Guide for Small Businesses




Understanding Your EIN




Your Federal Income Tax




Your Rights as a Taxpayer




Publication Synopses


Accounting Periods and Methods. Every taxpayer (whether an individual or a business entity) must figure taxable income on an annual accounting period called a tax year. Also, each taxpayer must use a consistent accounting method, which is a set of rules for determining when to report income and expenses. This publication explains some of the rules for accounting periods and accounting methods. IRS Pub. 538


Bankruptcy Tax Guide. This publication covers the federal income tax aspects of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy proceedings begin with the filing of a petition in bankruptcy court, and that filing creates the bankruptcy estate. IRS Pub. 908


Basis of Assets. Basis is the amount of your investment in property for tax purposes. Use the basis of property to figure depreciation, amortization, depletion, and casualty losses. Also, use it to figure gain or loss on the sale or other disposition of property. You must keep accurate records of all items that affect the basis of property so you can make these computations. IRS Pub. 551


Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook. This workbook is designed to help you calculate your loss on business and income-producing property in the event of a disaster, casualty, or theft. It contains schedules to help you calculate the loss to your office furniture and fixtures, information systems, motor vehicles, office supplies, buildings, and equipment. You must complete Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, to report your loss. IRS Pub. 584-B


Business Expenses. This publication discusses common business expenses and explains what is and is not deductible. The general rules for deducting business expenses are discussed in the opening chapter. The chapters that follow cover specific expenses and list other publications and forms you may need. IRS Pub. 535


Business Use of Your Home. The purpose of this publication is to provide information on figuring and claiming the deduction for business use of your home. It includes information regarding the requirements for qualifying to deduct expenses for the business use of your home, types of expenses you can deduct, how to calculate your deduction, and records you should keep, among other things. IRS Pub. 587


Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts. This publication explains the tax treatment of casualties, thefts, and losses on deposits. A casualty occurs when your property is damaged as a result of a disaster such as a storm, fire, car accident, or similar event. A theft occurs when someone steals your property. And a loss on deposits occurs when your financial institution becomes insolvent or bankrupt. IRS Pub. 547


Collection Appeal Rights. You may appeal many IRS collection actions to the IRS Office of Appeals. The two main procedures are the Collection Due Process and the Collection Appeals Program, both discussed in this publication. IRS Pub. 1660


Depreciating Property Placed in Service Before 1987. The law allows you to recover your cost in business or income-producing property through yearly tax deductions. You do this by depreciating your property, that is, by deducting some of your cost on your tax return each year. IRS Pub. 534


Do you Qualify for Relief under Section 530? Your business has been selected for an employment tax examination to determine whether you correctly treated certain workers as independent contractors. However, you will not owe employment taxes for these workers if you meet the relief requirements described in this publication. If you do not meet these relief requirements, the IRS will need to determine whether the workers are independent contractors or employees and whether you owe employment taxes for those workers. IRS Pub. 1976


Employer’s Tax Guide, (Circular E). This publication explains your tax responsibilities as an employer. It explains the requirements for withholding, depositing, reporting, paying, and correcting employment taxes. It explains the forms that you must give to your employees, those that your employees must give to you, and those that you must send to the IRS and SSA. IRS Pub. 15


Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide. This publication contains specialized and detailed employment tax information supplementing the basic information provided in Publication 15 (Circular E, discussed above). IRS Pub. 15-A


Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refunds. This publication discusses general rules and procedures that the IRS follows in examinations. It explains what happens during an examination and your appeal rights, both within the IRS and in the federal court system. IRS Pub. 556


Household Employer’s Tax Guide. This publication will help you decide whether you have a household employee and, if you do, whether you need to pay federal employment taxes. It explains how to figure, pay, and report these taxes for your household employee. It also explains which records you need to keep. IRS Pub. 926


How to Depreciate Property. This publication explains how you can recover the cost of business or income-producing property through deductions for depreciation. It also explains how you can elect to take a section 179 deduction, instead of depreciation deductions, for certain property, and the additional rules for listed property. IRS Pub. 946


Independent Contractor or Employee. According to the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, it is critical that you, the business owner, correctly determine whether the individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors. Generally, you must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. You do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.  If you are an independent contractor and hire or subcontract work to others, you will want to review the information in the section hyperlinked above to determine whether individuals you hire are independent contractors (subcontractors) or employees. IRS Publication 1779 is written from the perspective of the employee, and is important for both employees and employers for tax planning purposes. IRS Pub. 1779


Miscellaneous Deductions. This publication explains which expenses you can claim as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040 or Form 1040NR). You must reduce the total of most miscellaneous itemized deductions by 2% of your adjusted gross income. IRS Pub. 529


Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. This publication discusses two sets of rules that may limit the amount of your deductible loss from a trade, business, rental, or other income-producing activity. The first part of the publication discusses the passive activity rules. The second part discusses the at-risk rules. However, when you figure your allowable losses from any activity, you must apply the at-risk rules before the passive activity rules. IRS Pub. 925


Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney. This publication discusses who can represent a taxpayer before the IRS and what forms or documents are used to authorize a person to represent a taxpayer. Usually, attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, and enrolled actuaries can represent taxpayers before the IRS. IRS Pub. 947


Recordkeeping for Individuals. This publication discusses why you should keep records, what kinds of records you should keep, and how long you should keep them. IRS Pub. 552


Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000. If, in a 12-month period, you receive more than $10,000 in cash from one buyer as a result of a transaction in your trade or business, you must report it to the IRS and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on Form 8300. This publication explains why, when, and where to report these cash payments. It also discusses the penalties for not reporting them. IRS Pub. 1544


Retirement Plans for Small Business. This publication discusses retirement plans you can set up and maintain for yourself and your employees. Specifically, it covers simplified employee pension plans (SEP), the savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE), and qualified plans, H.R. 10 plans or Keogh plans for self-employed individuals, including 401(k) plans. IRS Pub. 560


Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension (SARSEP) for Small Businesses. A SARSEP is a simplified employee pension plan (SEP) set up before 1997 that permits contributions to be made through employee salary reductions. This publication explains how to choose, establish, and operate a SARSEP. IRS Pub. 4336


Sales and other Dispositions of Assets. This publication explains the tax rules that apply when you dispose of property. Specifically, it discusses how to figure a gain or loss, whether your gain or loss is ordinary capital, how to treat your gain or loss when you dispose of business property, and how to report a gain or loss. IRS Pub. 544


Starting a Business and Keeping Records. This publication provides basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business. It also provides information on keeping records and illustrates a record-keeping system. IRS Pub. 583


Taxable and Nontaxable Income. You can receive income in the form of money, property, or services. This publication discusses many kinds of income and explains whether they are taxable or nontaxable. It includes discussions on employee wages and fringe benefits, and income from bartering, partnerships, S corporations, and royalties. IRS Pub. 525


Tax Guide for Small Businesses. This publication provides general information about the federal tax laws that apply to small business owners who are sole proprietors and to statutory employees. This publication has information on business income, expenses, and tax credits that may help you file your income tax return. IRS Pub. 334


Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses. You may be able to deduct the ordinary and necessary business-related expenses you have for travel, entertainment, gifts, or transportation. This publication explains which expenses are deductible, how to report them on your tax return, which records you need to prove your expenses, and how to treat any expense reimbursements you may receive. IRS Pub. 463


Understanding Your EIN. This publication provides general information on Employer Identification Numbers (EINs). Specifically, it explains what an EIN is, information by type of business entity, when you need a new EIN, how to apply for an EIN, how to complete Form SS-4, where to apply for an EIN, and how to avoid common problems. IRS Pub. 1635


Your Federal Income Tax. This publication covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return. IRS Pub. 17


Your Rights as a Taxpayer. This publication discusses some of your most important rights as a taxpayer. It explains the examination, appeal, collection, and refund processes. IRS Pub. 1


Turn these IRS Publications into Real Tax Deductions


To find practical tax strategies in these IRS publications, we suggest that you read the monthly articles published online at the Bradford Tax Institute. We provide cutting-edge tax information for the self-employed, the one owner business, and the husband and wife owned business.


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