Frequently Asked Questions

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photo IRS Schedule CAs a sole proprietor, you generally use Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ Profit or Loss from a Business, and file it with your personal Form 1040 tax return.

Your income will be subject to the self-employment tax of 15.3% on net earnings.


Category: Taxes

LIFO inventory valuationLIFO stands for Last In First Out. It affects the calculation of the gross profit on inventory items when a sale is made.

When calculating the inventory costs for an item sold, LIFO uses the values of the latest inventory acquired to calculate the profit on the sale.

The alternative to using LIFO is to use FIFO (First in First Out).


photo form 1040You can request a free transcript of your return by snail mail using Form 4506T or 4506T-EZ. A transcript lists all transactions related to your return for that year, including payments and any adjustments.

The request can also be made by phone or on the IRS website. Transcripts are usually available for up to 10 years of returns.

If you want an actual copy of your tax return, use Form 4506. There is a fee for each year requested.

Copies are usually available for the current year and the previous six filing years. But this is not guaranteed, so keeping a copy of all your own returns is the safest way to insure you have them if needed.


Category: Taxes

FIFO inventory valuationFIFO stands for First In First Out.

It is used in the calculation of the cost of inventory items when a product sale is made.

When calculating the inventory costs for an item sold, FIFO uses the costs of the oldest available inventory to calculate the gross profit or loss on a sale.


depreciation expenseDepreciation is an accounting technique used to spread the cost of an asset purchase (e.g., equipment) over the useful life of the asset.

The idea is that if you make a large capital purchase, such as a building or equipment, the equipment or building isn’t “used up” in one year. You will use the asset to produce income for several or many years to come.

Depreciation matches up the future income produced by having the equipment with the cost of the current purchase. It also acknowledges that equipment wears out over time.

For example, if you buy a piece of manufacturing equipment for $50,000 you’ll presumably use that equipment for a number of years. So instead of taking the full $50,000 cost as an expense this year, you’ll spread it over several years.

Different types of assets have generally agreed upon “useful lives” and these schedules are used to calculate depreciation.


calculating amortizationAmortization, like depreciation, is a way to write off the expense of an asset over several years.

As examples, Amortization can be applied to intangible items, such as, “Goodwill” on the Balance Sheet or for spreading the costs of tangible expenses related to start-up costs over time.

Different write-off time periods are used for different types of assets.


Balance Sheet Goodwill valueGoodwill is an Intangible Asset that is shown on the Balance Sheet during the purchase or valuation of a business.

Goodwill is amortized over a set period of years, similarly to depreciation.

Goodwill from an accounting standpoint is the value placed on intangible company assets such as reputation or customer list value. Intangibles are non physical items (e.g., copyrights or patents) that are expected to support future business earnings.

Goodwill value, when added to the Book Value of a company’s assets, will usually increase the actual purchase price of the company.

When selling a company, the dollar amount assigned to Goodwill is usually subject to significant negotiation.

Different industries have different types of intangible assets that will affect the purchase price of a business.


The term boxes stacked up solated over a white backgroundinventory covers the goods or items you have available for sale.

The value of your Inventory will be found on your Balance Sheet in the Asset section.

Inventory can be finished goods ready for sale, e.g. a bottle of perfume, packaged & ready to ship.

It can also include the materials that will make up your finished goods, e.g., the bottle, the box, the labels, and the fragrance oils.

How you value your inventory will affect your profits and your taxes.


cost of goods soldThe term COG or Cost of Goods Sold represents the actual cost of manufacturing or producing the goods you sell.

It does not reflect operating costs such as advertising or marketing.

It is strictly the cost of all items required to create your finished product, including the cost of “freight in” to get the raw materials or parts to your business.

It is also referred to as the Cost of Sales.

Your COG & how you value your inventory will affect your profits and taxes.


Tax paymentsThere are a variety of ways to make tax payments. The primary ones are:

1. Deductions through payroll withholding.
2. Send a check the IRS with a paper form.
3. Use the EFTPS system to pay from a bank account.
4. Use the IRS Direct Pay system & pay directly from your bank account.
5. Use a credit card (there are fees charged for this option).

Additional options, include wire transfers & setting up a payment agreement if you can’t pay in full. More details about making tax payments are available on the IRS website.


Category: Taxes