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An S corporation (S corp) is a tax category provided to corporations and limited liability entities from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (LLCs). The S corporation classification permits business owners to be rewarded as employees of the company.

S corp status may be useful depending on your company’s particular qualities and demands.


S Corporation Definition and Meaning
S Corporation Taxes
Should I Form a S Corporation?
How to Form a S Corporation
FAQs on Starting a S Corporation

Definition of S Corp

An S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax category accessible to corporations and limited liability companies. S corp status may be useful depending on your company’s particular qualities and demands.

Forming a S corp is a popular choice for owners of both LLCs and corporations, since it provides different benefits to each of those company forms.

When a business chooses S corp status, it is taxed as a pass-through corporation. This implies that the corporation does not pay any corporate income tax. Instead, the company’s revenues and losses are immediately reflected on the owners’ personal tax returns.

Owners of S corporations that take an active part in the firm are also regarded workers, which means they get paid. Owners of LLCs, on the other hand, take owner’s draws to pay themselves.

S Corporation Taxes

S corporations, like LLCs and partnerships, are taxed as pass-through companies. This implies that S corporations do not have to pay federal corporate income tax on their business profits. Instead, the earnings or losses of the firm are passed on to the owners, often known as shareholders. The stockholders then declare their portion of the earnings on their individual tax returns as salary and pay personal income tax on that amount.

Owners of a S corporation who take an active part in the firm are deemed workers and must be paid a “reasonable” pay (earned income) depending on their unique job and the industry in which the company operates. Personal income tax and employment tax apply to this pay. In addition to this remuneration, owners are entitled to a portion of the company’s residual earnings. Personal income tax applies exclusively to these payments. The residual firm profits are referred to as “retained earnings” after all distributions have been dispersed and correctly taxed.

This is different from the standard tax structure for LLCs. While the IRS considers LLCs to be pass-through businesses, any income earned by an LLC owner is liable to both personal income tax and employment tax. The tax structure of a S corp varies from that of normal C companies (C corps), which undergo “double-taxation.” A C corporation must pay federal corporate income tax, and its shareholders must pay tax on dividends.

Should I Form a S Corporation?

The choice to incorporate a S corporation will be influenced by your company’s specific requirements and circumstances. Understanding the primary benefits and drawbacks of S corp status can assist you in making that choice.

Advantages of a S Corporation

One of the most significant benefits of adopting S corp status for LLC owners is the possibility of paying less self-employment tax. With the default LLC tax structure, any income earned by the company’s owner is liable to self-employment tax. However, with a S corporation, the owner is only required to pay self-employment tax on the amount they receive as wages. Any further draws (distributions) they get from the company’s earnings are exempt from self-employment tax.

The key benefit of the S corp tax structure for C corp owners is that their company’s earnings escape “double-taxation.” C corporations must pay a federal corporate income tax on their earnings, and dividends received by shareholders are taxed on their individual tax returns. Businesses that decide to be taxed as S corporations are classified as pass-through businesses, which are exempt from federal corporate income tax.

Disadvantages of a S Corporation

S corporations need more paperwork and must adhere to more laws than LLCs. S corporations are scrutinised more thoroughly by the IRS since they are not deemed disregarded entities for tax purposes (as single-member LLCs are by default). That implies you must be especially careful with your financial records and tax filing.

An S Corp may also have a maximum number of owners (called shareholders) – typically 100. This is in contrast to LLCs and C corporations, which have no restriction on the number of owners.

Another drawback of S corporations over C corporations is that passive income provided to shareholders is taxed at the same rate as regular income. C corp stockholders, on the other hand, may be eligible for a reduced tax rate on dividends.

How to Form a S Corporation

Use How to Start a S Corp is a step-by-step guide to forming your own S corporation.

To qualify as a S corporation, a company must satisfy the following requirements:

Corporations or partnerships cannot be its stockholders.
There can’t be more than 100 owners.
All owners must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
Profits and losses of owners must be shared equally by ownership stake.
If the firm is a C corporation, it must have just one class of shares.

How to Begin a Business

After you’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks of a S corporation and decided whether it’s the proper business structure for you, you’ll need to actually create the company. Whether you choose to be taxed as a S corporation or not, you must fulfil a number of additional steps before you can begin selling your goods or services.

Check out our state-by-state How to Start a Business guidelines for additional information on those other responsibilities. Meanwhile, here’s a brief rundown of the essential procedures you must perform after creating your company:

Fill out a tax return
Establish corporate banking and credit accounts.
Create an accounting system.
Obtain all necessary licences and permissions.
Purchase proper insurance.
Create a web presence

S Corporation Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a S corporation?
An S corporation (S corp) is a tax category that may be used by an LLC or a corporation. An S corp is held by shareholders, but the total number of stockholders is limited (typically 100), and earnings are not taxed at the corporate level. Profits and losses are instead passed through to the shareholders’ individual tax returns.

Is a S corporation the same as an LLC?
No. An S corp is a tax category that an LLC or company may use.

How do you set up a S corporation?
Form 2553 must be filed with the IRS to establish a S corporation.

What are the prerequisites for forming a S corporation?
S corps must satisfy four criteria:

They can only have 100 stockholders.
All stockholders must be private people, not corporations or other legal bodies.
Nonresident aliens are not permitted to be shareholders.
The company may only issue one kind of shares.
What are the advantages of forming a S corporation?
S companies are not subject to double taxation as C corporations are (C corps). Furthermore, since S corp owners are considered workers of their firm, they may save thousands of dollars in self-employment taxes.

What is the tax rate for S corporations?
S corporations pay no corporate tax. Owners of S corporations, on the other hand, pay personal income tax on the company’s earnings. This rate is determined by the owner’s personal income tax bracket.TRUI

What exactly is pass-through taxation?
Pass-through taxes is a kind of taxation that primarily applies to sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and S corporations. The earnings or losses of the firm are not taxed at the corporate level under this approach. Instead, they are passed through to the owners’ personal tax returns and taxed at their individual income tax rates.