Missouri Small Business Taxes: The Employer’s 2023 Guide

Feli Oliveros

Widely known as a tax-friendly state, Missouri attracts many aspiring entrepreneurs. However, a great business environment alone isn’t enough to jumpstart a successful venture. You’ll need to understand your financial and compliance obligations as well.

So, let’s look at what state business taxes you’d be responsible for if you open up shop in Missouri, including:

What business taxes do you pay in Missouri?

Most new business owners expect to pay income taxes when they start their business, but there are additional taxes you should account for in your finances. 

Other taxes Missouri business owners should budget for include sales tax, withholding tax, unemployment tax, and any local or industry-related taxes that might apply specifically to their business. Unlike many other states, however, Missouri doesn’t charge corporations a franchise tax. 

Let’s look at what businesses are responsible for paying what taxes, as well as how to file and pay each one. 

Missouri personal income tax

Many small businesses start out as pass-through entities—like sole proprietors, partnerships, or limited liability companies (LLCs). These businesses don’t pay income taxes themselves. Instead, the taxes are passed on to the personal tax returns of their owners or members. 

The state of Missouri’s individual income tax rate ranges from 2% to 4.95% of a taxpayer’s earned income. 

How to file and pay

Personal tax returns (Form MO-1040) are due by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the fiscal year. If your business follows the calendar year, your deadline is April 15. 

Missouri allows taxpayers to file and pay their personal income taxes through the MyTax Missouri online portal or one of the other methods listed on their website. If you prefer to file your tax return by mail, send your return to the appropriate address listed on the MO-1040 tax form. 

Missouri taxpayers are also responsible for paying quarterly estimated taxes if their annual tax liability is expected to be $100 or more. Estimated taxes are due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15. Submit your tax payments online through the Department of Revenue (DOR), or mail in your tax payments along with payment voucher Form MO-1040ES to the address below:

Missouri Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 555
Jefferson City, MO 65105-0555

In addition to the individual income tax returns filed by their owners, many partnerships, S corporations, and LLCs that are taxed as partnerships or S corps are required to file a separate tax return (Form MO-1065 or Form MO-1120S). These returns are due by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the fiscal year (or April 15 if your business follows the calendar year). They can be filed via the IRS Modernized eFile (MeF) system or by mail using the address listed on the tax form.

For more information on Missouri’s individual income tax or the partnership tax return, visit the Department of Revenue website. 

Missouri pass-through entity tax

The state of Missouri recently implemented the pass-through entity tax, a tax election that allows partnerships and S corporations to file and pay income taxes as a single entity (rather than having their partners or shareholders pay taxes through their personal tax returns).

Companies that make this election pay a tax rate of 5.3%.

How to file and pay

To make the pass-through entity tax election, businesses must file Form MO-PTE by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the fiscal year. The company will use the same MO-PTE form to report their income for the tax year. The return can only be filed by mail, so you must send the tax form to the following address:

Missouri Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 3080
Jefferson City, MO 65105-3080

Pass-through entity tax payments can only be submitted by mail as well. Send your payments along with payment voucher MO-PTEV or MO-PTEAP, depending on the situation, to the address above. 

Keep in mind that, even after making this election, partnerships and S corporations must still file Form MO-1065 and MO-1120S, respectively. 

To learn more about the Missouri pass-through entity tax, take a look at the tax form instructions or this list of frequently asked questions

Missouri corporate tax

Corporations that incorporate or do business in Missouri pay a corporate income tax to the Department of Revenue.

In 2023, the state tax rate for corporations is 4%. 

How to file and pay

Before you can file Missouri corporate taxes, you need to register your business with the state through the MyTax Missouri system. 

Missouri corporate tax returns (Form MO-1120) are due by the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the fiscal year. For corporations following the calendar year, this deadline is April 15. 

File your return electronically through the IRS MeF system or by mail. If you decide to file your taxes by mail, send your return to the appropriate address listed on the tax form. 

Missouri corporations that expect to owe $250 or more in income taxes annually must pay quarterly estimated taxes by the 15th day of the fourth, sixth, ninth, and 12th months of the fiscal year. Make payments online through the Department of Revenue website or send them by mail (along with payment voucher MO-1120ES) to the address below:

Missouri Department of Revenue
PO Box 3020
Jefferson City, MO 65105-3020

You can find more information on Missouri’s corporate income tax by visiting the Department of Revenue website

Sales and use tax

Most businesses that sell physical products or certain taxable services are required to collect and pay state sales tax, while some companies might also pay a use tax for storing, using, or consuming personal property in the state. 

Missouri’s sales and use tax rate is 4.225% in 2023. 

Note that not all Missouri businesses are required to pay sales and use tax, so check with your tax professional or with the Department of Revenue to see if your business is one of them. 

How to file and pay

Companies must register for a sales tax license via MyTax Missouri before they can collect and pay sales tax. Once you receive your permit, you’ll be assigned a sales tax filing frequency. Sales tax returns are filed on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. 

Look at the chart below to determine what your filing frequency and filing deadlines might look like.

Filing frequencySales and use tax liabilityFiling deadline
Monthly $500 or more per month20th day of the following month
Quarterly $500 or less per monthLast day of the month following the end of the quarter
Yearly Less than $200 per quarterJanuary 31 of the following year

File and pay sales and use taxes through the MyTax Missouri online portal, or mail your returns to the address below:

Taxation Division
PO Box 840
Jefferson City, MO 65105-0840

Note that companies with three or more business locations are required to file electronically. Additionally, all registered businesses must file returns each tax period, even if there is no sales tax to report. 

For more information on the Missouri sales tax, go to the Department of Revenue website

Withholding tax

Employers that do business in Missouri are required to withhold income from each employee’s wages and pay them to the Department of Revenue. These taxes are known as withholding taxes or employment taxes

The tax rate for each employee depends on factors like how much and how often they get paid, but in 2023, the withholding rate ranges from 0% to 4.95%. You can use the withholding tax calculator provided by the DOR to estimate your withholding tax liability. 

How to file and pay

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to create a tax account on MyTax Missouri to file and pay withholding taxes. Once you’ve registered your business, you’ll be assigned a yearly, quarterly, monthly, or quarter-monthly (weekly) filing frequency based on your estimated tax withholding amount. 

Missouri employers are required to file withholding tax returns (Form MO-941) and pay any tax due through MyTax Missouri. Registered employers must file their returns each tax period, even if they have no employees to report.

Additionally, all employers should file copies of all their withholding statements and information returns for the year, along with Form MO W-3, by January 31 (electronic filers) or the last day of February (paper filers). 

For details on due dates and tax thresholds for each filing frequency, review the Missouri employer’s tax guide. Or, you can visit the Department of Revenue website to learn more about Missouri withholding taxes in general. 

Unemployment tax

Missouri employers are also required to pay state unemployment insurance taxes to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. These taxes fund unemployment benefits for eligible employees who no longer work at the business. 

In 2023, most new employers pay a 2.511% tax rate on the first $10,500 of each employee’s wages. New nonprofits pay a 1% tax rate. Employers eligible for an experience rate pay between 0% and 6% in unemployment taxes. 

How to file and pay

Employers are required to file quarterly wage and contribution reports by the last day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter. The Department of Labor encourages businesses to file these reports via UInteract. So, make sure to register your business with the UInteract online system if you haven’t done so yet.

Businesses that prefer to submit these reports and payments by mail can send them to the address below:

Division of Employment Security
PO Box 888
  Jefferson City, MO 65102-0888

To learn more about Missouri unemployment taxes, review this guide to employers’ rights and responsibilities from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. 

Some municipalities choose to levy their own taxes on businesses in their jurisdictions, so it’s important to check with your local tax authorities to make sure you’re meeting all your tax obligations. For instance, the state of Missouri implements a maximum sales tax rate of 5.763%, resulting in an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 8.29%. 

Additionally, Missouri charges taxes on certain products and services. Some of these taxes include: 

  • Alcoholic Beverages Tax
  • Cigarette Tax
  • Marijuana Tax
  • Motor Fuel Tax
  • Tire and Lead Battery Tax
  • Tobacco Tax

Review this comprehensive list of Missouri taxes to learn which ones your business may be responsible for, then talk with your tax advisor or accountant to ensure you’re not missing anything. 

Missouri business tax breakdown by business type

Easily keep track of your business tax obligations with this breakdown of state and federal taxes by business entity. Remember that pass-through entities pay income taxes through the personal tax returns of their owners, partners, and members. 

Business typeIndividual income taxPass-through entity taxCorporate income taxSales and use taxWithholding taxUnemployment taxFederal income taxes
C corporationNo No YesYes, if applicableYes, if you hire employeesYes, if you hire employeesYes
S corporationDepends if it takes the PTE electionYes, if it takes the electionNo Yes, if applicableYes, if you hire employeesYes, if you hire employeesYes (pass-through)
LLCDepends on how it’s structured and if it takes the PTE electionDepends on how it’s structured and if it takes the electionDepends on how it’s structuredYes, if applicableYes, if you hire employeesYes, if you hire employeesYes (pass-through)
Partnership Depends if it takes the PTE electionYes, if it takes the electionNo Yes, if applicableYes, if you hire employeesYes, if you hire employeesYes (pass-through)
Sole proprietorshipYes No No Yes, if applicableYes, if you hire employeesYes, if you hire employeesYes, by way of individual income tax

File your Missouri small business taxes with Gusto

If you’d like to make your business tax obligations more manageable, you’ve come to the right place. Gusto’s easy-to-use payroll software doesn’t just run your payroll in minutes—it automatically files your payroll taxes at the same time too. Discover all of the other ways our platform can help you run your business more efficiently by creating an account today.

Feli Oliveros Feli Oliveros is a freelance finance and business writer with experience covering personal and small business finance. In 2015 she graduated from UCLA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and minored in Anthropology.
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