How does an S-Corporation Save Me Money_

How Does An S-Corporation Save Me Money?

If you have read our post about S-Corporations and determining a reasonable salary, you’re probably wondering how S-Corps help save you money.

Because it’s a requirement to pay yourself a reasonable salary when operating an S-Corp, savings on your taxes comes into play when your reasonable salary is more than your net income. This lets you take a distribution.

Distributions are amounts of cash that you can take out of your business. Distributions are not subject to payroll taxes so by taking a distribution, you save by not paying payroll taxes on that amount of money.

When told about this, most clients ask, “I can just lower my salary then, right?” The answer is: Nope. You are required to have reasonable compensation, which is discussed in the blog post.

After your reasonable compensation is taken care of, you’re good to go to make distributions.

Another big savings item we see is on the health insurance side. If you need to purchase your own health insurance as an S-Corporation, you can purchase it through your business instead of the individual exchange. This often results in you being able to buy better insurance.

However, we do recommend that you talk to an insurance broker before you make any decisions about your health insurance since we do not provide those services.

The last area in which we see savings for our S-Corp clients is when we are putting an accountability and reimbursement plan into place. Depending on your business, we can help you set up a plan to pay for things like your cell phone and mileage. However, this area of savings is very business-specific and depends on the type of business you do.

Should Everyone Be an S-Corporation?

No. An S-Corp is a more complicated form of business that requires you to set up payroll. Becoming an S-Corp also depends on how much money the business is making and your personal tax situation. We have covered some minimums in this post.

TL;DR: Being an S-Corporation can save you money — if you hit the minimum income threshold and set things up correctly.
What is an EIN and Why do I Need One_

What is an EIN and Why Do I Need One?

An EIN is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS and used to identify your business. It’s like a Social Security number for your business and, in many cases, can be used in place of your Social Security number on forms and other types of paperwork.

We recommend that all businesses apply for and use an EIN..

If you are a sole proprietor, you need an EIN if you have any of the following:

  • Employees
  • A retirement plan,
  • Have or are planning to buy an existing business
  • You are a partnership, LLC, or PLLC

In addition, some states require you to have an EIN to open a bank account.

To apply for an EIN, the only information you need is the type of company your business or practice is. Applying for an EIN is an online process that, in most cases, will provide you your EIN on the same day you apply for it.

When applying, PLLCs should select the “LLC” option on the application. When you are done, make sure you SAVE a copy of the generated letter. It is the ONLY time you will get a copy without requesting it from the IRS.

TL;DR: You should have an EIN.
What is a Reasonable Salary_

What is a Reasonable Salary?

If you have been following our series of posts about S-Corps, then you may be familiar with the phrase “reasonable salary.”

But what is a reasonable salary?

The IRS is particular about paying yourself a reasonable salary since your salary is subject to payroll taxes. There are a variety of ways to calculate your reasonable salary, and the IRS tends to work with a nine-factor test.

The factors are:

(1) Employee qualifications;

(2) The nature, extent, and scope of the employee’s work;

(3) The size and complexity of the business;

(4) Prevailing general economic conditions;

(5) The employee’s compensation as a percentage of gross and net income;

(6) The employee-shareholder’s compensation compared with distributions to shareholders;

(7) The employee-shareholder’s compensation compared with that to non-shareholder employees or paid in prior years;

(8) Prevailing rates of compensation for comparable positions in comparable concerns; and

(9) Comparison of compensation paid to a particular shareholder-employee in previous years where the corporation has a limited number of officers.

 

When we help clients with the above, we tend to ask a lot of questions and then document the process we follow. Documentation is key: if the IRS ever audits or reclassifies your distributions as salary, you need to have data to backup your numbers.

Based on the above factors, we discuss what your education and licensing level is, how your practice is set up, how your firm is doing, and the state of your financial data. Someone grossing $250,000 in their firm is going to be paid differently than someone grossing $75,000.

This, of course, goes back to the point that you need to be making enough money to make it worth electing to be an S-Corp.

Many private practice therapists who we’ve worked with have salaries ranging from $45,000 to $130,000, for example. Determining a reasonable salary depends on what is going on in your business and the factors involved in your business. A reasonable salary is not going to be the same across the board since every practice is different.

TL;DR: We recommend that you document how you determined your salary. Reach out to us if you need some help deciding what reasonable compensation looks like for you.