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Saving Taxes with an S Corporation

posted Sep 30, 2012, 6:47 AM by Jeongho Kim   [ updated Sep 30, 2012, 6:48 PM ]

(copyright with katc llc, 김정호 공인 회계사)

한국 회계사들은 알아서 챙겨주지 않는 S Corporation을 이용한 세금절약에 대해서 말씀드립니다.

S Corp은 기본적으로 회사를 설립하여 비니지스를 운영할때 여러가지로 큰 세금혜택을 누릴수 있는 방법으로
대부분의 미국인들은 s corp의 형태로 비지니스를 운영하고 있습니다.
 
s corp은 일처리가 복잡하고 번거로우며, 매년 3월에 세금보고를 해야 합니다.
이때문에, 저렴한 한국 회계사들은 s corp에 대해서 알려주지 않고 추천하지 않는 경우가 많습니다.
하지만, 회계사는 이를 상세히 설명하여 고객이 이해하도록 하고, 고객의 세금절감에 최선을 다해야 합니다.
그리고 더 많이 일을 하는만큼 정당한 fee를 요구하면 되지만, 사실 회계사 본인이 실력이 부족한 경우도 많이 있고, 경험없는 직원들은 처리할 수 없으며, 바쁜 택스시즌에 일이 한꺼번에 2-3배 가중되는 현상이 발생하기 때문에 꺼려하고 있는 것입니다.
 
결과적으로 한인 비지니스 오너들께서는 모르는 사이 매년 적어도 수천불의 세금을 낭비하고 계십니다.
그러면서도 엉터리 처리로 세무감사에는 노출이 심하여 한번 감사에 걸리면 그 어떤 보호도 받지 못하고 있습니다.
이런면에서 제대로된 회계사에게 제대로된 서비스를 받고 정당한 fee는 지불하는 것이 비지니스에 있어서 매우 중요한 필수사항 이라는 것입니다.
 
s corp을 통하여 기본적으로 절약할 수 있는 세금은 다음과 같습니다.
- 회사는 IRS 세금이 없습니다. (owner에게 이익/손실금이 넘어옵니다) 
- Payroll 금액을 조절하여 Payroll tax를 줄일 수 있습니다.
- 회사 이익금에 대해서는 %15정도 되는 social security tax 나 Self-employment tax를 내지 않습니다.
- Owner는 별도의 배당금 처리를 하지않고, 회사의 이익금을 유용하게 사용할 수 있습니다.
 
여러가지 제약조건이 있지만, 미국에서 합법적으로 생활하고계신 대부분의 small busniess owner분들은 s corp을 이용하실 수 있습니다.
 
 
 
 
아래는 이해하기 쉽게 작성된 s-corp 설명과 예제를 발췌한 것입니다. 
(copyright with original writer, Seattle CPA Stephen L. Nelson)

An S corporation election allows the shareholders to preserve the benefit of limited liability for the corporate form while at the same time being treated as partners for federal income tax purposes.

Ever wondered why so many small businesses operate as an S corporation? Simple. An S corporation saves business owners big taxes in three separate ways:

Benefit #1: Passthrough Losses

First, as compared to regular corporations (sometimes called C corporations), S corporation owners can use the business’s losses incurred during the early lean years on the owner’s personal returns as deductions. For example, suppose a new S corporation suffers a $20,000 loss its first year and that the corporation is equally owned by two shareholder-employees, Sally and John. Sally and John each get a $10,000 business deduction on their individual tax returns because of the S corporation loss. This $10,000 deduction might save them each as much as $4,000 in federal and state income taxes.

Benefit #2: Lower Payroll Taxes

As compared to almost every other business form, S corporations can save their owners taxes from self-employment or Social Security/Medicare. Suppose, for example, that Andrew, Benny and Chris independently each own businesses that make $90,000 a year in profits. Each business owner may pay $13,000 in income taxes. However, that's not the only tax they have to deal with. Each owner must also self-employment or Social Security/Medicare taxes.

For example, Andrew operates his business as an LLC and therefore pays 15.3%, or roughly $13,500, in self-employment taxes on his profits.

Benny operates his business as a C corporation which pays all of its profits to him as a salary. Accordingly, Benny (through his corporation) also pays 15.3%, or roughly $13,500, in Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Chris’s situation is different. Chris operates his business as an S corporation which means that Chris can split his $90,000 of profits into two payment amounts: salary and S corporation distributions. Suppose that Chris says only $40,000 of his profits are salary and takes the other $50,000 as a "dividend" distrbution. In this case, Chris pays the 15.3% Social Security/Medicare tax only on the $40,000 in salary. Therefore, Chris pays roughly $6,000 in Social Security/Medicare taxes—and annually saves $7,000 in taxes as compared to Andrew or Benny.

Benefit #3: No Corporate Tax

S Corporations also provide a third benefit in the tax arena because they don't pay corporate income taxes. In other words, S corporations get to avoid the well-known "double-taxation" problem. However, the "no corporate income taxes" benefit often isn't a savings for small corporations.

Suppose that two corporations each earn the same pretax profit of $100,000 and are owned by Ms. Davidson who pays the highest federal income tax rate of 35%. One corporation is an S corporation and the other is a C corporation.

The S corporation can distribute the entire $100,000 in profits to Davidson as dividends because there is no corporate income tax. Davidson then pays $35,000 in personal income taxes on the S corporation profits, which means she nets $65,000 in after-tax profits from the S corporation.

In comparison, the C corporation can’t pay the entire $100,000 in profits to Davidson. The C corporation first pays $22,250 in corporate income taxes. When the C corporation pays the remaining $77,750 to Davidson as a dividend, DaVinci pays another $11,663 in 15% "dividend" taxes on the C corporation profits. This means that Davidson nets roughly $66,000 in after-tax profits from the C corporation profits. In this case, DaVinci saves money with a C corporation in spite of having to pay the corporate income tax.

How to Get S Corporation Benefits

To create an S corporation and receive S corporation tax savings, you need to do two things: First, you must incorporate the business either as a regular corporation or as a limited liability company. Second, you need to make an election with the IRS to have the corporation or LLC treated as an S corporation. The S election is made with form 2553, available from the www.irs.gov web site. Note that some states (such as New York) require a separate state S election.

S corporations can save you thousands of dollars each year, but your tax savings can’t start until you elect S corporation status. If S corporation status saves you money, then every moment you delay will cost you hundreds of dollars!
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