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Tax Information part 2

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corporations, partnerships, nonprofit associations, trusts, estates of decedents, government agencies, certain individuals, and other business entities.


You are required to obtain an EIN if you do one or more of the following:

1. Form a C or S corporation or partnership (in this case the EIN serves essentially the same purpose that a social security number does for a sole proprietorship)

2. Pay wages to one or more employees or File pension or excise tax returns

A sole proprietorship with no employees, pension plans, or excise taxes does not need an EIN. A sole proprietor can use the social security number for income tax, self employment, and other tax purposes.


For more detailed information on how to determine whether you should obtain an EIN, refer to the IRS publication Understanding Your EIN. To obtain an EIN you must complete IRS Form SS-4. Banks require an EIN to open a corporate or partnership bank account.


Payroll Taxes and Withholding Taxes


Employers are responsible for withholding taxes from employees’ paychecks, sending them to the proper government agencies, and other employer tax obligations. The major employer paid taxes (FICA, federal unemployment, and state unemployment taxes) will be explained later in this section.


Social Security and Medicare Taxes


The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) provides for a federal system of old age, survivors, disability, and hospital insurance. The first three are financed by the social security tax, while hospital insurance is financed by the Medicare tax. To learn more about the five major benefits covered by Social Security taxes (retirement, disability, family benefits, survivors and Medicare), please refer to the Social Security  Administration’s Web site.


Employers must withhold social security and Medicare taxes from employees’ wages and pay a matching amount. These taxes have different rates and only the social security tax has a wage base limit. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax; all covered wages are subject to Medicare tax.



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