Learn what you need to know about S Corporation taxation before you decide on which entity type is best for your business. Join Dark Horse CPA, Erik Hegstad, as he takes you through the quick & dirty on S Corps.
Hello and welcome. You’re tuned into taxes. Made simple for a speed round on S corporations. My name is chase Berkey, CEO of dark CPAs, and I’m joined by Colorado’s very own Eric KCStat who runs a dark horse CPA practice in Fort Collins. You may remember him from our conversation on entity selection, which was the second episode we did for the podcast.
So what we decided to do on this episode was create a speed round series on entity selection to break down each of the major entity types, to give you a little more depth on the advantages and disadvantages of each. So, as I mentioned before, this episode is going to be on S corporations. Eric, welcome back to the show and thanks for being here.
Thanks for having me. I’m happy to be back and excited to take a quick dive into the world of S corporations. Awesome. Well, as we do on this show, it’s time for you to show me your cup of coffee and let me know what you’re drinking. Well, this is just your basic Americano. Um, no cream, no sugar, just straight to the point.
Like I intend to be with our discussion today. Mm, sounds more tasty. Well, let’s start the clock for five minutes. Eric. Tell us what an S-corporation is. I’m actually going to flip this one around and tell you what it’s not, because it’s easier to understand this way. You did not form an S corporation with your secretary of state.
You either form an LLC or a corporation and then make the S election. Well, you probably just blew some of our listeners minds right off the bat there, but what do you mean by an S election? You file a form with the IRS to elect for that LLC or corporation to be taxed as an S-corporation. It’s just a tax designation, not a type of legal entity.
You’re still an LLC or a Corp, depending on which you formed with your state of incorporation. Well, the natural follow-up question then is why would you do this? As corporations enjoy certain tax benefits as compared to other entity types, like a partnership or LLC, you only have one level of tax. Since the income flows through to the owners, by the percentages, this would be an advantage against a C corporation that pays tax at the entity level and the shareholder level.
Unlike a partnership. However, the income that flows through to you on your K one is not subject to self-employment tax, which can save you up to about 15% on that income. So this is the main differentiator that leads just about everyone to think that the S corporation is the way to go hands down, but Eric I’m sure you’d agree that there are many more considerations at hand here other than just the self-employment tax issue.
Right. 100%, one consideration off the top of my head is that you have to run payroll, maintain a set of financial statements and file a separate tax return, which you don’t have to do when you’re a single member LLC. So there’s a cost associated with that. Also the payroll that you’re required to run for yourself, which is called officer compensation, does not qualify for the 20% QBI deduction.
On the other hand, those W2 wages could unlock some of this 20% QBI deduction that you’d otherwise forgo. If you were taxed as a partnership, I’m going to spare our listeners from the agony of going into further depth there. But I will say it’s this sort of nuance that Eric helps his clients work through on the daily to make sure they’re being as tax efficient as possible.
So let’s talk about the restrictions imposed on S corporations to maintain their tax status. Absolutely. So you can’t have a shareholder that is an entity or someone who is not a us citizen or permanent resident. You can’t have more than one class of stock and you can not have over 100 shareholders. So there are a lot of restrictions on ownership further.
These owners, at least the ones that operate in the business must be paid a market salary for their services. All distributions paid to shareholders must be done to their percentage of stock ownership. There are also a number of corporate formalities that you must adhere to such as holding certain meetings and keeping minutes on those meetings.
If you run a foul of any of this, the IRS can strip you of your selection. And what happens if they do that? Well, you revert back to the tax status of the entity type that you created. So corporations, for example, would have all of their income, double tax back to the date. The election is revoked. That sounds like an absolute migraine.
So what else should our listeners be thinking about? One thing would be how their state taxes and S-corporation versus an LLC. In California, for example, S corporations pay a tax of 1.5% on their net income. Whereas an LLC pays a tax based on their gross receipts. High revenue, low margin businesses are typically negatively impacted by being an LLC in California compared to being an S corporation.
And. As I mentioned before, they’re just a lot less flexible than an LLC, which can cause operational challenges for a business. And they can cause problems in attracting investment capital from those who would be ineligible to own the stock or those who simply don’t want a K one. For these reasons, a number of escorts become C corpse when they seek investment to scale the business.
And boom goes the dynamite. Eric very informative. And I think we flirted with the five minute Mark there to our listeners. If you have any questions on entity formation, or if you just need a new CPA and you like what you’re hearing from Eric, you can email him at Eric at dark horse dot CPA. Once again, that’s Erik with a K at dark horse dot CPA.
So as always, we’d like to thank you for tuning into TMS, or if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, taxes made simple because there’s TMI and then there’s TMS. Yeah.
What To Do About the 43.4% Capital Gains Tax Rate4 Min
The Biden Administration will be doubling the long-term capital gains tax rat... Listen now
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant Program3 Min
If you own a restaurant or bar, you need to be aware of the Restaurant Revita... Listen now