Everything you need to know about small business tax payments

Summary

Many small businesses tend to form as an LLC. LLC members have two important tax advantages: no double taxation and deductible business losses.

Unlike C corporations, where business income is taxed twice — at the corporate level and at the individual level — LLCs are only taxed once at the individual level. This means that members pay taxes on business income on their personal tax returns in the same way a sole-proprietorship or an S corp does. This treatment is referred to as a “pass-through” tax treatment.

Many small businesses tend to form as an LLC. LLC members have two important tax advantages: no double taxation and deductible business losses.

Unlike C corporations, where business income is taxed twice — at the corporate level and at the individual level — LLCs are only taxed once at the individual level. This means that members pay taxes on business income on their personal tax returns in the same way a sole-proprietorship or an S corp does. This treatment is referred to as a “pass-through” tax treatment.

Another advantage of owning an LLC is that you can have an unlimited number of members (i.e. potential shareholders) in your LLC, which makes it easier to raise capital and expand your business. If you have multiple members in your LLC, you have to determine the ownership percentages for each member.

With multiple-member LLCs, you can choose to be taxed as a partnership or as a C corporation. If you choose to be taxed as a partnership, then you’ll report your share of the business income on your personal income tax returns. If you choose to be taxed as a C corporation, you will be subject to double taxation.

Single-member LLCs, on the other hand, are automatically taxed as a sole-proprietorship.

You may pay upfront costs to set up and maintain your LLC with your state. To operate an LLC in California, for instance, small business owners pay $800 in state taxes annually — regardless of how much money the LLC is making or losing.

If you’re in a state where you have to pay annual taxes to operate an LLC, then your job is to grow the business enough to offset that cost. Every state has different annual taxes to operate an LLC and some may not have any annual state taxes, so it’s important to check before you establish your business.

But the tax advantages, pass-through profits, and management flexibilities still make LLCs a popular option. Your tax situation depends on doing your research to determine which legal entity best suits your needs.

Everything you need to know about small business tax payments
Photo Credit: quickbooks.intuit.com

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