I believe you are referring to tax withholding. Tax withholding is used as a way to pay your income tax liability through out the year. By US law you are required to pay your taxes to the IRS at a minimum of every quarter. If you do not have any employees, and you are not yet making any money, then you shouldn't have to worry about this.
As a business owner there are two types of income taxes that fall under this category that you have to consider:
- Tax withholding: As an employer you are required to withhold income taxes from your employees' salaries, and send that to the IRS. If you have no employees you do not have to do this.
- Estimated tax: This is what your income tax liability as a business owner is. Estimated taxes are based on your income, so if you have no income you have no income tax liability.
For more on this you can read IRS Publication 505 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. The introduction of Pub 505 explains this well. It states:
The federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax. You must pay the tax as you earn or receive income during the year. There are two ways to pay as you go.
- Withholding. If you are an employee, your employer probably withholds income tax from your pay. In addition, tax may be withheld from certain other income, such as pensions, bonuses, commissions, and gambling winnings. The amount withheld is paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in your name.
- Estimated tax. If you do not pay your tax through withholding, or do not pay enough tax that way, you might have to pay estimated tax. People who are in business for themselves generally will have to pay their tax this way.