Information Needed for Filing Schedule C for a Business

Information for Filing Small Business Taxes

Tax Records for Small Business Taxes
Tax Records for Small Business Taxes. Jim Corwin/Getty Images

What Information and Records Do I Need to File Schedule C?

Small business owners who are filing business taxes as a sole proprietorship or single-member LLC must file using Schedule C - Profit or Loss from Business. Here are the tax documents you need to take to your tax preparer to file Schedule C.

 Information on your business net income

Give your CPA a P&L (profit and loss, or income) statement, showing your revenue or gross income for the year.

For this statement, you will need information on all sources of income for your business, including any 1099-MISC income from work as an independent contractor. You can deduct returns and credits that reduce your business income. You may also be able to write off bad debts, if your business uses the accrual accounting method. 

Information to calculate cost of goods sold

If your business sells products and keeps inventories of those products, you will need to calculate cost of goods sold. For this calculation, you will need information on: 

  • Beginning inventory. This is the amount you have in inventory at the beginning of the year. In most cases, you will have to take inventory
  • Cost of labor, materials, and supplies
  • Purchases,
  • Ending inventory (at the end of the year). You may need to take a physical inventory count to get these begininning and ending inventory numbers. 

Information on your business expenses

You will need to prepare a Profit and Loss statement should include your business expenses.

This is an important list, so take your time and include everything. The more business expenses you include, the lower your business income tax bill will be. Include records for common monthly expenses, like: 

  • Phone, utilities, computer expenses
  • Business insurance
  • Supplies
  • Professional fees (you should have sent these people a 1099-MISC form)
  • Interest on loans, leases, other business debts
  • Meals and entertainment expenses
  • Petty cash - those small monthly spending amounts can add up. 

Make sure you have records for all of these expenses. You don't need to submit the records with your tax return, but you will need to show them to your tax preparer and be prepared to show them to the IRS in case your business tax return is audited.

Other Information Needed: 

Information on business travel and driving expenses

If you drive for business purposes, you will need records to show the business purpose for trips, and you may need actual driving expenses, if this is the method used to calculate driving expenses. (The other calculation method is to use a standard mileage deduction.

If you traveled for business, on trips, you will need information about business purpose of these trips, and details on expenses, including air, hotels and meals. 

Information on business use of your home, if you work from home

You will need information for Form 8829 to substantiate business use of your home, including:

  • Calculation of the percentage of your home square footage that is set aside for "regular and exclusive" use by your business
  • Amount for your home mortgage interest,real estate taxes, and homeowner's insurance
  • Home expense like utilities, rent, and repairs and maintenance
  • And information about the value of your home for depreciation purposes.

Information on your business assets

You will need to provide information on your business asset records, including business vehicles, for depreciation purposes.

Take all of this information to your CPA, Enrolled Agent, or other tax preparer, or use business tax software to prepare your return.