What You ought to Learn about the S Corporation Deadline of March 15th

You should find out about structure to your small business can appear like a frightening task. Finally, the verdict may have pretty significant implications, from how much you pay in taxes to how much paperwork it’s essential take care of.

March 15th is the deadline for existing businesses to elect S Corporation status, making it a great time to check this business entity.

Double taxation

You can have heard that the standard C Corporation is overkill for many small businesses and leads to higher overall tax payments through something referred to as double taxation. That’s because in terms of taxes, a C Corp is a separate taxpayer that files its own federal and state (where applicable) tax returns.

This signifies that profits are first taxed with the corporation. Then if the corporation decides to take that profit and distribute dividends to shareholders, the dividends are taxed again (this time, on each shareholder’s personal tax statement).

The LLC (Limited Liability Company) and S Corporation are popular structures for small businesses since they avoid this double taxation burden. With these business structures, the corporate is taxed like a sole proprietor or partnership, meaning the corporate itself doesn’t file its own taxes: all company profits are ‘passed through’ and reported at the personal income tax return of the shareholders (S Corporation) or members (LLC).

If you’re thinking about putting in place an LLC or S Corporation on your business, you’re probably wondering which business structure is true on your business. While circumstances vary among individuals and individual businesses, listed below are some general guidelines that can assist you understand the diversities and their impact in your business.

As always, you might want to check with a tax advisor or CPA to speak about the specifics of your individual situation:

Liability

Both the LLC and S Corp will separate your own assets from any liabilities of the corporate (whether from an unhappy customer, unpaid supplier or anyone else who might pursue legal action).

Business Formality

An S Corporation actually begins as a C Corporation. After the corporation have been formed, it would elect ‘S Corporation Status’ by filing Form 2553 with the IRS in a timely manner to be able to get pass-through tax treatment (more at the deadline later). Which means that the S Corporation involves the formalities and compliance obligations of the C Corporations.

If you incorporate as an S Corporation, take into account that you’ll wish to installation a board of directors, file annual reports and other business filings, hold shareholder’s meetings, keep records of your meeting minutes and customarily operate at a better level of regulatory compliance than your corporation may need or desire to tackle.

With the LLC, this isn’t the case. LLCs just use a casual operating agreement. Reflect onconsideration on how much formality it’s essential to take care of. In certain cases, the S Corporation can seem too burdensome for the small business or solo entrepreneur.

Shareholder Eligibility

The IRS places restrictions on who is usually a shareholder of the S Corporation. An S Corp cannot have greater than 100 shareholders (for sure, this would possibly not be too significant for the small business). Further, all individual shareholders of an S Corp ought to be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

How Income is Allocated

The two structures differ relating to how profits would be divided a few of the owners. An LLC offers you flexibility to determine how profits must be divvied up. But in an S Corp, income and loss are assigned to every shareholder strictly in keeping with their pro-rata share of ownership.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you open a business with a colleague, each owning 50 percent. Because the year goes on, your colleague gets busy elsewhere and also you start taking up the majority of the work. On the end of the year, the 2 of you opt that since you have done more work, you could keep 75 percent of the profits and your colleague gets 25 percent.

With an LLC, this kind of agreement is okay. Owners simply must conform to the arrangement and they’ll be taxed accordingly to their ‘operating agreement.’ Against this, the sort of flexible arrangement won’t work with an S Corporation. Since you and your colleague are each 50 percent owners, you every may be allocated 50 percent of the corporation’s income (not less than in relation to computing income tax).

Class of Stock

If you are worried concerning the form of stock you’re able to offer, have in mind that both business structures are different. An S Corporation may have voting and non-voting shares, but cannot have distinctions like common stock and preferred stock. In an LLC, however, these priorities and preferences are allowed and you may have different membership classes.

If you’re involved in the S Corporation in your business, do not forget that there’s an upcoming deadline to use for S Corporation treatment. When you have an existing Corporation (C Corp) or LLC, March 15th is your deadline for filing IRS Form 2553 with the IRS and electing S Corporation status for this tax year and forward.

In other words, in the event that your corporation/LLC existed on January 1 of this year, then you definitely have got to get your Form 2553 in by March 15, 2013 which will have your S Corp in effect for the 2013 tax year. If you’re forming a brand new corporation this year, then your S Corporation deadline is 75 days from the date of incorporation.

The right business structure for you will ultimately depend upon the whole unique aspects of your online business. But irrespective of which business type you decide, taking a significant examine your legal structure is making a strong foundation to your business.

S Corp Business Photo via Shutterstock

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