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Business Tax Rates: What Should You Expect To Pay?

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Corporate or Business Tax is a tax charged on a company’s profits. Depending on your business entity type your taxes are due at different times.  Partnerships and S-corporations are due 3/15 while individual taxes and C-corps are due 4/15.  In both cases quarterly payments can be made April – December. Many businesses are considered pass through entities, in fact some estimates put the number of businesses that pay taxes at the personal tax rate as high as 75%. These pass through entities pay taxes at the individual IRS and State tax rates because their tax rate is dependent on the income of the business owner.

Since 2017 the highest corporate tax rates have been set at 21%. As part of the tax cuts and jobs bill that passed in October 2017. This may seem dramatically lower than the personal tax rate for higher income individuals which hovers around 43%, however, the largest tax bill small businesses pay is for payroll taxes at 7.65% on employee gross payroll. Additionally W-2 employees come with unemployment taxes and workers comp. making the tax burden of corporate entities significantly higher than the flat 21% would suggest.   Many businesses who were using contractors to avoid these increased tax burdens are finding that the passage of AB-5 has reduced margins and increased their tax liability dramatically [Download our EBOOK

Businesses pay capital gains taxes on investments and sale of assets. While long-term capital gains help 1+ years are taxed depending on the income of the business, short-term capital gains are taxed as income. State taxes vary widely from State to State.

  • Sole proprietorships pay a 13.3% tax rate
  • Small partnerships pay a 23.6% tax rate
  • S corps pay a 26.9% tax rate
  • C corps pay a 17.5% tax rate
  • LLCs, both partnerships and sole members are taxed at the individual’s federal income tax rate.

Since higher income equates to higher tax rates it is worthy of note that “Nearly 60% of sole proprietorships have a net income of less than $10,000, while only 3.1% have a net income of at least $100,000.

More than 18% of S corporations have a net income of at least $100,000.” Which explains why the S corp rate, referenced above is nearly double that of the sole proprietor rate (also referenced above) *source https://www.thebalancesmb.com/ Californians who want to start a business should be aware of the many requirements for hiring workers and how that will affect their choices around corporate business structure, margins and scalability. Thinking of starting a business in CA? Check out these guidelines to point you in the right direction for success. 

While the tax cuts that went into effect in 2017 were a boon for large corporations, they did not positively impact the majority of small businesses.  To offset that, the the Qualified Business Income Deduction of 20% was enacted. A business with a taxable income of $100,000 only pays taxes on $80,000 of that amount.  Since personal income is the standard by which those tax rates are set that 20% reduction in taxable income can help with the tax bracket of the small business owner.

For more information on business tax, IRS audit representation and EDD investigations, call the office and speak to one of our dedicated tax attorneys.