Owners of s-corporations are quickly introduced to some fairly complex tax issues. An s-corporation has “flow-through taxation”. This means the s-corporation itself generally pays no income taxes for its income, but its stockholders do. The s-corporation files its own tax return. That tax return generates a K1 that’s given to its shareholders and its shareholders report and pay the taxes on the shareholders’ personal tax returns. But the shareholders may also be required to pay themselves a salary if they are also employees or otherwise perform services for the corporation. Continue reading “Income and Salary to an S-Corp Owner”
Whether on purpose or by mistake, taxpayers sometimes find themselves years behind on filing their tax returns. Sometimes people are lucky and decide on their own to file past due tax returns and move on with their life. Others have the decision made for them when an IRS agent knocks on their door. Regardless, when you are significantly behind on your tax return filings, you should seek professional help to ensure you can minimize penalties and, hopefully, reduce the taxes you need to pay. Continue reading “Didn’t File Tax Returns? The IRS Offers Solutions for Nonfilers”
Despite common belief, taxes can be discharged sometimes through either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In fact, bankruptcy is often the best option for many with tax debts. A tax attorney will typically be familiar with both the tax law and non-tax law options available to you and should be able to point you toward the best solution. Continue reading “Taxes and Bankruptcy in Maryland”
Persons holding equity interests in a business can use a buy-sell agreement to ensure the continuity of the business and to solidify their expectations regarding the taxes, rights, and obligations of each party. The buy-sell agreement can dictate the method by which a person’s equity interest will be purchased. Buy-sell agreements can be used by nearly any type of entity, regardless of whether the entity is a corporation, LLC, or partnership.
If you are unable to pay the Internal Revenue Service for taxes you owe, you may be able to qualify for a tax payment plan. The IRS calls such payment plans an Installment Agreement. Your state, including Maryland, also may offer similar tax payment plans.
While most would prefer to obtain an offer in compromise, which reduces the total tax debt, many will not qualify because either their income is too high (by IRS standards) or the taxpayer has too many assets, which includes home equity. Thus, that taxpayer’s only option may only be to request a payment plan. Continue reading “Tax Installment Agreements – Payment Plans”
When forming a new LLC, many wonder whether it’s better to form it in their home state or form it in another, such as Delaware, Wyoming, or Nevada. For most, the best choice is to form it in their home state.
Some believe their business will receive special tax benefits by forming their LLC in an alternative state. But the reality is that many people are getting these ideas from friends, internet gurus, or tax plan promotors, many of whom are either unqualified or provide so many caveats they cannot be held responsible if they get you into trouble. Most state that the reasons for forming your entity outside your home state are for liability or tax purposes. While some businesses can benefit from the differing tax laws of other states, most small business owners receive no benefit and their forming the LLC in another state only creates financial and administrative burdens. Continue reading “Where Should You Form Your Entity?”
Choosing an entity for your business can be a difficult decision. There are many types of entities available, and you are not limited to forming an entity in your state. Further, the entity you choose does not necessarily determine how the entity will be taxed. For instance, you may choose to form a Maryland LLC but also choose to have it taxed as an s-corporation. The decision depends upon many factors including: the business purpose, the property to be owned, expectations to terminate or sell the business, the owner’s estate planning concerns, and, of course, taxes. There is no universal “best entity”, and choosing the proper entity requires every business to be individually analyzed.
Most states, including Maryland, provide you with the following popular state entity choices: the sole proprietorship, the general partnership, the limited liability company, and the corporation. Other entities for more specialized purposes also exist, such as the limited partnership and the professional association (a P.A. or P.C.).
With Maryland tax audits increasing, you should ensure your company is prepared. An ongoing, organized approach to preserving necessary documents will streamline a sales tax audit and may even lead to tax refunds. First, beware, a state auditor visiting your office for a sales tax audit isn’t required to keep the focus solely upon sales taxes. A typical audit may cover other area such as your payroll taxes, and information obtained through the audit can lead to income tax adjustments as well. So, while a sales tax deficiency may only cause a minor sales tax adjustment, the revenue and expense information obtained can lead to sizable state income tax adjustments. Further, since states share their income tax adjustments with the IRS, you may trigger a federal income tax audit and adjustment as well. Continue reading “Maryland Sales Tax Audit Defense”
The third article in a series on the purchase and sale of a Maryland business. In this article I address basic tax concepts and issues relating to a business sale.
A major consideration when purchasing an existing Maryland business should be minimizing the tax burden. Certain transactions provide tax benefits to either the purchaser or the seller while providing a tax burden to the other. Therefore, tax consequences should be considered when determining the appropriate purchase price. The general rule is that the sale of a business is a taxable event; however, the parties may be able to structure the transaction using a tax-free reorganization. The IRS provides several forms of tax-free reorganizations, but to qualify the parties must meet numerous requirements. Since the IRS only allows tax-free reorganizations under limited circumstances, I will first discuss taxable transactions.