How to incorporate your business and incorporation tax benefits
5 min read
September 28, 2023 • Block Advisors
Did you know you don’t have to be a massive company to incorporate a business? As a business owner, there are several tax benefits of incorporating your business to be aware of. Learn about some incorporation tax specifics in this post.
First, what is incorporation?
An incorporated business, or corporation, is a legally and IRS-recognized business entity. Corporations are separate from the people owning and operating them. Its shareholders own shares of company stock and are responsible for its operation and profitability.
Various business structures have different ways of operating, governance, and tax reporting requirements.
How to incorporate your business
Think you want to take the next step and learn how to incorporate your business? For certain, there are several steps, including choosing which type of entity you want to form and setting up an EIN and payroll for your business.
Want to learn more about business incorporation? We’ve got your back. Block Advisors’ business formation tool has the information to help you navigate this important step for your company.
Is an S Corp the right entity structure for my business?
Answer these six questions to find your fit.
Tax advantages of incorporating a small business
Now let’s walk through the basics of the incorporation of a company. Even the smallest business could see tax benefits by incorporating their business. It’s important to note that there are legal implications to incorporation, but here we are focus on the tax aspects.
Below are some of the tax advantages of incorporating.
Prefer getting personalized help? Block Advisors’ certified small business tax pros can walk you through the tax impacts of incorporation and our business formation tool can help you start your own registration.
1 – You could benefit tax-wise
If you are the sole owner of the business and you don’t incorporate, your default status in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service is a sole proprietorship. With this business structure, you don’t need to do anything to set up the sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is the default tax entity for an individual doing business. As a sole proprietor, you only need to report your business income and expenses on your individual tax return.
A sole proprietorship is often the entry point for novice entrepreneurs because it requires zero setup. Yet, it might not be the best business structure as your small business grows and evolves.
S Corp tax advantages
- S corporations are pass-through entities. This means that the net profits of the company pass through to the owners’ individual tax returns and the owners then pay tax at their individual rates.
- Although the owners’ individual tax rates may be higher than the C corporation tax rate (21%), S corporation owners can generally withdraw after-tax profits without paying extra tax. With this structure, you avoid the double taxation of profits.
- S corporations do not pay self-employment tax. However, active shareholders must pay themselves a reasonable salary in addition to tax-free distributions. As with any employee, the shareholder-employee pays one-half of FICA taxes and the company pays the rest.
C Corp tax advantages
- For C corporations, the net income of the business is taxed at the corporate level. C corporations currently have a flat tax rate of 21%, while the highest individual tax rate is 37%.
- After-tax profits withdrawn from a C corporation, referred to as dividends, are taxed to the shareholders. This is referred to as double taxation. However, qualified dividends – often those paid to shareholders who have owned company stock for a specified time period – enjoy favorable capital gain rates.
- C corporations do not pay self-employment tax. Employee shareholders pay their share of FICA (Social Security and Medicare tax) and the company pays the other half.
A note about LLCs
An LLC (limited liability company) is a state-level entity rather than a corporation. For one-owner LLCs, the default entity is a sole proprietorship; for two or more owners it is a partnership. LLC members can elect to be taxed as a corporation by filing Form 8832 with the IRS.
Now, are you seeing some advantages and impacts of incorporating for tax purposes? If you’re thinking about various business structures, you may be interested in our other posts featuring some of your options:
2 – You can claim tax deductions
Like a sole proprietor or partnership, a corporation can deduct any ordinary and necessary business expense. Corporations often have additional expenses which are deductible. These might include annual franchise fees, annual report fees, and other state-level expenses. A corporation can deduct tax preparation fees as a business operating expense.
3 – It opens your business up for lending opportunities
Small business owners who don’t incorporate could face more challenges than incorporated businesses when applying for loans. One reason for this is that sole proprietorships require less financial and tax documentation. Thus, they might not have the records to back up their income.
On the other hand, incorporated businesses often offer a clear financial picture of their business assets and liabilities to lenders, in part because of their corporate tax returns which include balance sheets as well as income and expense information.
Is incorporation of a company worth it?
There are many corporation tax benefits, but not all businesses should incorporate.
At Block Advisors, we can help you determine the tax advantages of incorporating while also guiding you to make important tax decisions about your business. Our business formation products and services can be your first step to registering your own company.
We also offer services like bookkeeping and payroll to assist you as your company grows – mix and match the services that fit you and your business needs best! You can count on Block Advisors to be there for you at all stages of your business.