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How Do Partnerships Pay FICA? January 2, 2010

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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Partnerships don’t pay FICA tax for their partners.  If a partnership employs people, then, of course, the partnership must pay FICA taxes on their employees.  Partners in the partnership must pay their own FICA taxes as well as their own income taxes.  Some partnerships do run payroll on their own officers but the IRS doesn’t really care for this.  It may come back to the haunt the officers at a later date.

When partners take a draw, distribution or a guaranteed payment, they must take out a gross amount of say 1000.00.  From this, they must set aside 200-300 (depending on your personal situation) to pay their own estimated quarterlies.  Partners in the partnership must submit their own 1040-ES to the IRS on a quarterly basis for their taxes. 

FICA and income tax is a different tax.  When you send the IRS one chunk of cash, the IRS puts this in your account and the amounts that are figured out when you file your personal 1040.  Remember the profits inside the partnership are subject to your income tax rate even if you did not bring those profits home with you. 

Guaranteed payments taken as “take home pay” is subject to both your income tax rate and to FICA taxes.  Partnerships are similar to sole proprietorship because the partners have to pay the full 15.30% of social security/medicare tax.  FICA=Social Security/Medicare Tax.

Visit us at our website to get your free E-Book titled “How Do I Pay Myself? The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business AND Bringing Home the Dough.”  www.UniversityForBusiness.com

We also offer a really cool twenty minute video about how running your business affects your bottom line. We use islands, cars and bridges to demonstrate the movement of profits and losses between your personal and business bank accounts. This immediate download is avaialble for only $6.99. Twenty minutes with a CPA for only $6.99, what a deal!

Requirements For Officer Compensation…. December 13, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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This was a question that a blog reader asked me.  It is so useful when readers ask questions because it gives me material to write about.  So keep your questions coming.

I usually suggest that active officers run payroll on themselves at a minimum once a quarter.  Even if the business can only afford to pay the officers through payroll $500.00 per quarter, that is better than nothing.  This makes the business look more like a “going concern” (a real business that is sustainable) to the IRS than if there is an absence of payroll inside the corporation for its active officers.  The IRS starts to wonder why would the officers stay in this business if the business can’t afford to pay its own officers after a period of time. 

The only requirement that I know of is that officers must be compensated by giving them a reasonable salary for your industry.  If your S Corporation is a restaurant, then the business must compensate the officers who work inside the restaurant a reasonable salary for the restaurant industry.

What is an active officer?  This is an officer who works inside the corporation.  An officer who reviews the financials on a weekly basis or an officer who actively generates sales calls or an officer who does the dishes is considered active.  If the business has officers who show up every now and then for board meetings or who stops by occasionally to check on their investment is not considered active.

In my state of North Carolina, the power of the payroll law rests with the employer.  The employer can really do whatever they want to do with their employees as far as paying frequency.   I don’t know of any employer that pays its employees less than once a month.   Check with your state department of revenue for your state’s payroll laws.

Officers can be compensated on a different schedule than its employees.  Sometimes when there is no money, the employees get paid first and the officers just have to wait.  Of course, it is easier to run payroll all at the same time, but sometimes this is not possible.

 In conclusion, the officers can be compensated whenever the Corporation deems appropriate.  At at minimum, the compensation should occur at least once a quarter.  The IRS requires that active officers be compensated a fair and reasonable salary.  Employees and officers can be compensated on the same schedule if the funds permit this.  Be careful of paying your officers with fringe benefits.  Fringe benefits to S Corporation officers are usually considered compensation by the IRS and have to be added to the W-2 as taxable wages.

Visit us at our website to get your free E-Book titled “How Do I Pay Myself? The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business AND Bringing Home the Dough.”  www.UniversityForBusiness.com

We also offer a really cool twenty minute video about how running your business affects your bottom line. We use islands, cars and bridges to demonstrate the movement of profits and losses between your personal and business bank accounts. This immediate download is avaialble for only $6.99. Twenty minutes with a CPA for only $6.99, what a deal!

Do I Pay My Income Tax Bill From My Business? December 6, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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Of course, income taxes are different than unemployment taxes and from the employer’s portion of the social security tax.  Those taxes are deductible.

Income taxes are held from your own income and need to be paid from your salary bucket inside your business.  If your paycheck says that you took home 700.00, then 300.00 is really taxes.  In t heory your paycheck should be 1,000.00 to cover taxes which is normally around 300.00 to be safe.  To be safe means you are not stuck with an enormous tax bill at the end of the year.

If you are a sole proprietor or a partnership then your taxes are paid from the guaranteed payments or from your owner’s draw.  This draw can take place through a physical check written from your business or through a bank transfer from your business account to your personal account.  It is then your responsibility to remit quarterly your income taxes and your social security taxes to the IRS and to the state agencies.  Those taxes are paid from the money that was transferred to your business account.  Some business gross up their partner’s draws and guaranteed payments to cove the cost of the taxes.  Instead of bringing home $1,000.00, they might bring home $1,300.00 to cover the taxes.

Visit us at our website to get your free E-Book titled “How Do I Pay Myself? The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business AND Bringing Home the Dough.”  www.UniversityForBusiness.com

We also offer a really cool twenty minute video about how running your business affects your bottom line. We use islands, cars and bridges to demonstrate the movement of profits and losses between your personal and business bank accounts. This immediate download is avaialble for only $6.99. Twenty minutes with a CPA for only $6.99, what a deal!

My Company Isn’t Profitable…Do I Have To Pay Taxes? November 28, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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My Company Isn’t Profitable…Do I Have To Pay Taxes?

No!  If your company isn’t profitable you do not have to pay income taxes.  If you have employees or you are an employee, you will have to pay social security/medicare taxes.

I believe the IRS doesn’t really start looking closely at your business until after three unprofitable years.  If you have been unprofitable for three years, the IRS starts to wonder why are you still in this business?  Is this a business or a hobby?  Then you start to get into the whole concept of hobby losses. 

If you are unprofitable for three years, start looking at your numbers…your gross profit, your percentage of payroll to revenue (if your payroll is 60K and your revenue is 100K, that means your payroll is 60% of your revenue…that is too high, your staff needs direction or they don’t have enough to do or something).  Maybe you need a new business or a new way to operate your business?

Your salary is deductible if you are an S Coporation or a C Corporation.  Your guaranteed payments or draws are deductible to the partnership.    Your draws inside your sole proprietorship are NOT deductible.  If you are an LLC, check out my blog on the whole LLC scene.  This means that your profits will be lower…which is good for tax purposes…to report lower profits…the lower the profits the lower your tax bill.  Lower profits is bad for bank loans though.  Do you want a bank loan or do you want to pay less in taxes…you can’t have both.

Visit us at our website to get your free E-Book titled “How Do I Pay Myself? The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business AND Bringing Home the Dough.”  www.UniversityForBusiness.com

We also offer a really cool twenty minute video about how running your business affects your bottom line. We use islands, cars and bridges to demonstrate the movement of profits and losses between your personal and business bank accounts. This immediate download is avaialble for only $6.99. Twenty minutes with a CPA for only $6.99, what a deal!

How Do I Pay Myself as A Sole Proprietor? November 7, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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j0438810If you have established yourself as a sole proprietor inside your small business, paying yourself is relatively easy!  The tricky part, of course, is the estimated tax payments.

Of course, you would need to be profitable in order to be able to pay yourself, there needs to be excess cash in your business accounts after you have met all of your small business expenses.  All of the small business experts will tell you that you need to pay yourself first.  I agree with this statement, you must take care of your household expenses first, otherwise what you have is an expensive hobby.  However, sometimes, it is incredibly difficult to let the business expenses slide because we see our small business as the goose that lays the golden egg…if we can just through the next month, things will be great!  I know, I have been there. 

Assuming your small business is enormously profitable (and I hope that it is), you have excess cash to pay yourself…If your business account and your personal accounts are at the same bank then online transfers from the business accounts to your personal accounts are the way to go.  I would always recommend setting up a separate business savings account to set your tax money aside.  If you don’t have online access to your accounts, then is fine to write a check from your small business account to your personal accounts.

For example, you want to pay yourself, $1,000.00 as a small business owner, you would really only bring home about $700.00 after taxes.  The online transfer would be two part-$700.00 to your personal checking account and $300.00 to your tax savings account.  Depending on your tax bracket and if you don’t have a great deal of other personal income (25%-30%) should cover you come tax time. 

Seems high doesn’t it?  Yes!  We do pay a lot of taxes as small business owners…Dave Ramsey says that if we weren’t so busy keeping our doors open of our small businesses we as small business owners would have a revolution.  I agree, when we are working for other people, we don’t notice the tax bill as much because it is being withheld from our paycheck but when we have to write a check to pay our taxes, it might make you sick to your stomach!

Caution!  It is very important to remember that just because you did not bring all of your profits home with you DOES NOT mean you don’t pay taxes on those profits!  If you have $10,000.00 in profits at the end of the taxable year, that is considered taxable income to you and you will have to pay taxes on these profits to the tune of about $3,000.00!  It is remarkable because it may feel as though you did not benefit from these profits, but it is the law to pay taxes on your profits and what you put into your personal bank account.

 Remember, that if you are an LLC, you may also be a sole proprietor…the federal government doesn’t recognize the LLC only the sole proprietor.  You may be registered as an LLC with the state but you still remain a sole proprietor with the federal government.  You would declare yourself, “I am an LLC filing as a sole proprietor”.

Visit us at our website to get your free E-Book titled “How Do I Pay Myself? The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business AND Bringing Home the Dough.”  www.UniversityForBusiness.com

We also offer a really cool twenty minute video about how running your business affects your bottom line. We use islands, cars and bridges to demonstrate the movement of profits and losses between your personal and business bank accounts. This immediate download is avaialble for only $6.99. Twenty minutes with a CPA for only $6.99, what a deal!

How Do I Pay Myself? August 19, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Small Business, Uncategorized.
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j0438810This is a question that I answer virtually everyday.  Of course, every entrepreneur wants to get paid as often as we can and as much as our business can afford.

How you pay yourself depends on the business entity in which your business operates.  Remember the LLC (Limited Liability Company) entity is only a state entity.  There is no LLC federal tax form.  If you have an LLC entity, you are in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service a sole proprietor, partnership or S corporation.  We say in the CPA business, they are an LLC filing as a sole proprietor.  OR they are an LLC filing as a partnership.  OR they are an LLC filing as an S Corporation.  Make sure that you know what entity you are registered at the federal level, Sole Proprietor, Partnership or S Corporation.

  • Sole Proprietor-You must have two separate bank accounts, one for your business and one for your personal affairs.  When the business gets paid, that cash is deposited into your business account.  When it is time for you to get paid, you can write yourself a check or transfer your funds over from the business banking account to your personal account.  It is important that you leave money in your business bank account (even better to set up a separate savings account)  to hold back your self employment taxes and any potential income tax you may have.  (See blog post called “Put My Taxes Into Buckets, Please.”)  In a sole proprietorship, when you pay yourself this is called an Owner’s Draw.  If you have profits in the business, even though you did not bring those profits home with you, you will still pay both income taxes and self employment taxes on those profits.  If you have employees, they can be run through payroll but you can’t run payroll on yourself in a sole proprietorship or inside of a partnership.  Every quarter, you are required to make estimated self employment taxes.

 

  • Partnership-Very similar to a Sole Proprietorship in that both profits and owners’ draws are subject to both income tax and self employment tax.    There needs to be two business bank accounts and you can do a transfer or write yourself a check from your business account to your personal account.

 

  • S Corporation and C Corporations-As an active officer of the corporation, you are required to write yourself a payroll check.   There is some flexibility as to what how much we can pay yourself in dividends but it is an IRS red flag if there is no payroll for officers in a corporation.  I love it when officers run payroll on themselves and receive a W-2.  This makes for much less of a surprise at the end of the year at tax time.  I personally converted myself to a Corporation entity so that I did not have worry about making those estimated payments throughout the year.  I will get a W-2 this year.  I may even get a small refund!  There is a really nice change.  I love Paychex for payroll.  They are reasonably priced and do their work excellently!  It doesn’t matter if you have just one person on  your payroll, the complexities of payroll are the same if you have one person or twenty five people.

Visit us at our website to get your free E-Book titled “How Do I Pay Myself? The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business AND Bringing Home the Dough.”  www.UniversityForBusiness.com

We also offer a really cool twenty minute video about how running your business affects your bottom line. We use islands, cars and bridges to demonstrate the movement of profits and losses between your personal and business bank accounts. This immediate download is avaialble for only $6.99. Twenty minutes with a CPA for only $6.99, what a deal!

What Would You Like To Know? June 12, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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I ran into my business coach this morning and he wanted me to ask small business owners what they would like to know about.  I have been writing about what I think  you need to know about in terms of accounting and taxation in your small business.  Tell me about what areas you struggle with in the accounting area.   What do you need to know?  What would you like to learn more about?

I would love to hear from you so I can write about what you would like to know.

Thanks in advance for your time and your contribution!