Managing Your Delaware Small Business Taxes

Ensuring your Delaware business remains legally compliant involves understanding and meeting your tax obligations at the local, state, and federal levels. If this feels overwhelming, don't worry—Stellar is here to assist you.

Updated on
Jan 23, 2024
min read
Fees and Taxes
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For owners of Delaware small businesses, it's crucial to grasp the significance of paying taxes on federal, state, and local levels to stay within the bounds of the law. Identifying which taxes pertain to your business can be a daunting task, even for seasoned entrepreneurs. To alleviate this, we've compiled a concise state tax guide. Keep reading to delve into the distinct types of business taxes in Delaware, along with the procedures for payment and timing. Furthermore, you'll discover how our range of products and services can simplify the process when the time arrives.

Step 1: Determine Your Delaware Business's Corporate Income Tax Responsibilities

The tax obligations of your business are largely contingent on its entity structure and operations. Most corporations established under Delaware law that conduct business within the state are required to remit Corporate Income Tax to the Delaware Division of Revenue. There are specific corporations exempt from this tax, outlined in Section 1902(b) of the Delaware Code. Presently, Delaware's business tax rate for income stands at 8.7% of federal taxable income allocated and apportioned to the state. The allocation to Delaware follows a three-factor method, as specified by the Division of Revenue. Regardless of the gross or taxable income amount, if your company operates in Delaware, it must file a corporate income tax return.

Delaware mandates all corporations to make estimated tax payments for corporate income tax. These payments are divided into four installments throughout the year:

  • 50% due on or before the 1st day of the 4th month of the taxable year.
  • 20% due on or before the 15th day of the 6th month of the taxable year.
  • 20% due on or before the 15th day of the 9th month of the taxable year.
  • 10% due on or before the 15th day of the 12th month of the taxable year.

Corporate income taxation differs from that of pass-through entities. Pass-through entities, such as limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, and sole proprietorships, are not subject to income tax. Instead, the owners or members report income on their individual tax returns.

Step 2: Assess Your Delaware Business's Employment Taxation

If you have employees, it's likely that you'll be responsible for withholding taxes. Any business operating in Delaware, maintaining an office, or conducting business in the state, and disbursing wages or other payments to Delaware residents or non-residents, must deduct and withhold a specific amount, commonly referred to as withholding tax. Various formulas exist for employers to calculate the withholding amount, ensuring that employees owe no taxes when filing their personal income tax returns.

Delaware's Division of Revenue provides a tax computation table to assist in determining the withholding tax for employees. However, the highest rate you'll be required to withhold is 6.6%. Due dates for withholding tax payments are contingent on payroll and tax period end dates. Please consult the Department of Revenue's due date table for detailed information.

Step 3: Understand Your Delaware Business's Other State Tax Obligations

Delaware businesses may also face other state taxes:

Sales Taxes:

While Delaware does not impose a state or local sales tax, it does levy a gross receipts tax on the total gross revenues of businesses selling goods or providing services. This tax is borne by the seller (i.e., your business), not the consumer. The current rate varies from 0.0945% to 0.7468%, depending on the nature of your business activity. To determine the applicable rate, refer to the Division of Revenue's Business Tax Tips page. Depending on your business's total gross receipts, the gross receipts tax return and payment are either due monthly or quarterly.

Franchise/Privilege Tax:

Corporations formed under Delaware law are subject to a franchise tax, reflecting the privilege of incorporation within the state. The tax amount is determined by the number of authorized shares within the corporation, with a minimum of $175 and a maximum of $200,000. Tax payments are due no later than March 1st each year. Businesses owing $5,000 or more must make estimated tax payments in quarterly installments.

  • *LLCs, limited partnerships (LPs), and general partnerships (GPs) must pay an annual tax of $300, due by June 1st each year.

Unemployment Taxes:

Employers in Delaware contribute to unemployment tax with the Department of Labor, ensuring funding for potential unemployment payouts to employees. The tax amount hinges on the employer's taxable payroll size, the unemployment tax rate, and the taxable wage base, which is currently $18,500. The minimum tax rate stands at 0.3%, while the maximum rate is 8.2%. Employers must submit unemployment tax returns quarterly, due at the end of the month following the quarter's conclusion. For further details, visit the Division of Unemployment Insurance's website.

Excise Taxes:

Some products and goods in Delaware are subject to excise taxes, including alcoholic beverages, gasoline, and cigarettes. If your business deals in these products, be sure to investigate and comply with the associated licensing requirements.

If you're uncertain about maintaining compliance, delve deeper into legal compliance for small business owners.

Step 4: Prepare for Filing and Paying Your Delaware Business Taxes

The Delaware Division of Revenue serves as the primary tax agency overseeing business taxes in the state. The division strongly encourages online tax filings through their Delaware Taxpayer Portal. To register, you'll need your business's federal Employment Identification Number (EIN) or the entity owner's social security number, along with the personal identification number (PIN) sent to you in a letter from the Division of Revenue.

As you gear up to file your Delaware small business taxes, ensure that your business records are in order. These records may include last year's returns, accounting documents, receipts, and other legal paperwork.

Do I Need an Accountant?

In most cases, small businesses benefit from professional accounting assistance to guarantee accurate and timely tax filings. Missing a filing deadline or miscalculating taxes can lead to severe consequences. Consider hiring an accountant to ensure peace of mind. If you're unsure how to choose a tax professional, consult the IRS guide on tax return preparer credentials and qualifications.

How We Can Assist

Taxes may seem intricate, but they're essential for business operations. With our guidance and expert tax advice, you can confidently fulfill your tax responsibilities. If your small business is in the formation phase, explore our Delaware LLC Formation Services or Corporation Formation Services to kickstart your journey.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. Seek the counsel of a licensed professional for specific questions related to these topics.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Have other questions? Contact us now

Do I have to file taxes for my small business in Delaware?
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Yes, it's highly likely that your small business in Delaware will be subject to some form of business tax, as the state taxes businesses for the privilege of conducting operations within its borders.

How does a Delaware small business pay taxes?
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Most tax payments in Delaware are conducted online using the Delaware Department of Revenue's Taxpayer Portal.

What percentage does a Delaware small business pay in taxes?
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Determining an average percentage for small business taxes in Delaware is challenging, as it hinges on the business's structure and activities.

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