Taxes for excess benefit transactions are to deter insiders otherwise known as disqualified persons from using a nonprofit for unreasonable compensation. Recent tax court cases underscore that apart from those named in the law as disqualified persons who were obvious targets—such as directors and certain officers, members of their families, and certain affiliated entities—there may be others who qualify as “disqualified persons.” The question whether an individual is a disqualified person generally “depends upon all relevant facts and circumstances.” The same guidance that goes for nonprofits goes for every legal entity: keep the entity separate. It may be obvious, but you should not use the nonprofit’s funds to buy groceries for the officers or directors or other insiders. You should not pay unreasonable compensation for the officers. In short, you should not use a nonprofit tax-exempt organization, which is subsidized by US taxpayers, as a personal piggybank for officers, directors, their families, or other insiders.
You will remember that difficult discussion with your small business attorney about how you wanted your limited liability company to be treated for purposes of taxation. If you do nothing, then your multi-member LLC is taxed as a partnership. And in this article, when we refer to a “partner” or a “partnership,” we are generally referring to a member in a LLC that is taxed as a partnership. If you want to be taxed as a corporation, you need to file an election. This article highlights the new audit rules and whether you may want to consider making changes to your multi-member LLC.
If you own a foreign company and are thinking of opening up for business in the United States then you should read this article. Despite the challenges, foreign businesses continue to flock to the United States. This article gives an overview of the major decisions that foreign businesses must make as they explore entering the U.S. market. They usually set up a subsidiary not a branch, and confront issues of where to form the new entity. They consider issues dealing with tax, immigration, CFIUS reviews, corporate structure and other issues as they enter the U.S. market.
Entity-choice-after-tax-reform. When you are ready to form your new small business, you probably have reviewed with your small business attorney various entity choices. The small business attorney likely discussed possible legal entities such as corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs). Which entity is the best form for your business depends on many variables such as structure, liability, management as well as tax considerations. You have likely heard that there was a big change to the United States tax code starting in 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Many of the tax reform provisions affect businesses. In this article, we will discuss how these changes may affect the calculus in deciding which legal form your want to choose for your startup business.
Careful when electing LLC taxed as S Corp. Your startup business is organized as a LLC and you have consulted with your small business lawyer and tax adviser about whether you should elect to be taxed as a S corporation. Your startup lawyer has filed the papers to organize your LLC in Washington DC or elsewhere. You decided to make the S corp election to save self-employment taxes—a good reason for many small business owners. All is good and well, except that there are looming traps for the unwary. When you talk with your tax adviser or your startup attorney, you want to come prepared and understand that the S corp election may pose some financial risks for you. This article describes some of the looming risks for those business owners who have elected for their LLC to be taxed as a S corp. This article is not meant to provide tax or legal advice, rather to highlight some of the issues that you as the small business owner may face and will want to make an informed decision with you small business attorney or tax adviser. This article was not intended to provide an exhaustive list of differences between taxation of a partnership and taxation of a S corporation. Rather, this article was intended to highlight some of the differences. You may have a good idea of your exit strategy for your new business. If you think that you will be able to take it public in a few years, or that you will stand to benefit for minimizing self-employment taxes, then there may be good reason to make the election to be taxed as a corporation. This article intended to point out some of the countervailing considerations and you should discuss your particular needs with your small business attorney and tax adviser.
We have reviewed the considerations for choosing your business formation type between a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. You have discussed the choices with your startup lawyer. The threshold question you want to ask is whether your small business would qualify for S corporation tax treatment. For many clients, that is the end of the story because their startup has something that would make it ineligible for S corporation tax treatment such as one of the partners is a corporation. If the business meets the S corporation criteria, then the next question is whether it is advantageous to the new business to elect to be treated as a S corporation. As we have discussed in this blog, the clear answer is “it depends.” There are advantages and disadvantages to both S corporation tax status and partnership tax status, but the primary driver for those who elect S corporation status is to try to save self-employment taxes. In the next blog, I will write that there are more dimensions to this decision. We will go over some of the rules regarding distributions, redemption of ownership interests, contributions of goods or services, among some other rules that you may want to talk about with your tax adviser. The rules governing taxation of LLCs are complex and a tax adviser is essential to help guide you through the tax maze.
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