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Entries tagged “S-corporation”

The Criteria for Being Classified as an S-Corporation

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · February 01, 2010

In order to be classified as an S-Corporation, a company must: be domestic, have no more than 100 shareholders, have one class of stock, all shareholders must be individuals, decedents’ estates, bankruptcy estates, trusts or tax-exempt charitable organizations, or wholly owned by another S corporation, and all shareholders must be residents of the United States (as defined by the tax code not immigration laws). Shareholders of an S-Corporation can not be financial institutions that use a reserve method of accounting for bad debts, companies taxable as insurance companies, taxable mortgage pools, or domestic international sales corporations. So, if a business entity meets these criteria it can be considered an S corporation by the IRS and taxed as an S corporation as long as the S corporation election forms are properly filled-out and approved by the IRS. Many states including California automatically give business entities an S-corporations tax status if it was approved by the IRS.

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The tax benefits of making an S-Corporation Election?

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · January 31, 2010

Many small business owners incorporate their businesses not only for legal protection, but also to reduce owners’ payroll taxes through S-Corp tax election with the IRS. One advantage of an S-Corp is that it gives business owners the ability to reduce their self-employment taxes. Any small business owner who has not made an S-Corp election and uses Schedule C for their personal tax return for 2010 is subject to both employer and employee FICA and Medicare payroll taxes at 15.3% up to $106,800, 2.9% Medicare for Schedule C net income greater than $106,800, and California SDI for 1.1% up to 93,316. If a business owner pays himself/herself a “reasonable salary”, the rest of the net income is not subject to these payroll taxes.

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What is an S-Corporartion?

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · August 19, 2009

S-Corporations are corporations that elect to be treated as pass-through entities by the IRS. In order to qualify for S-Corporation status a corporation needs to satisfy several conditions, including the following: 1) all shareholders must be residents of the United States; 2) the corporation may only have one class of shareholders and may not have more than 75 shareholders; and 3) the company’s shareholders must be any of the following: individuals, estates, certain trusts, certain partnerships, tax-exempt charitable organizations, and other S corporations (but only if the other S corporation is the sole shareholder). This means S-Corporations may not be owned by other C-Corporations, LLCs, or foreign residents. If any of the requirements are not met at any time, the corporation automatically loses its S-Corporation status and will be treated as a a C-Corporation.

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Where should I form my entity?

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · August 19, 2009

This can be a very complex question. If you are looking to grow the company and get outside investment, then you should probably form an entity in Delaware. If your entity will have real estate holdings Nevada might also be a good option. Otherwise, it might make the most sense to simply form the entity in the state where you will be conducting most of your business.

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What is pass-through/flow-through taxation?

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · July 18, 2009

In a pass-through (or flow-through) entity, the entity’s income and expenses “pass through” the entity and are treated as the income and expenses of its owners. LLCs and S-Corporations are pass-through entities. This differs from a C-Corpoartion (which is the default form of corporation) which is taxed a corporate income tax at the end of the fiscal year in addition to the personal income taxes and dividend taxes that its owners and employees pay. Federal corporate income tax is about 15% to 35% of profits, and most states also have corporate income tax. This means after a C-Corporation has paid its expenses for the year, it will be taxed at least 15%-35% of whatever is left above the amount the company started with that year. If the company is an LLC or an S-Corporation, there is no corporate tax, and indeed the owners can even apply losses of the company against their personal income.

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Should my business be a Corporation or an LLC?

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · July 17, 2009

If your business only has a few investors and you do not anticipate receiving outside financing in the near future, an LLC is probably best for you because of its flexibility, simplicity, and pass-through taxation (see blog entry on pass-through taxation). However, if you want a board of directors that is distinct from the officers and/or shareholders of the company, or if you are looking for institutional investors, then a corporation is probably a better form of entity because of its more organized and established structure of governance.

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