Celebrating Tax Day?

April is home to two important dates, my birthday, and tax day which traditionally falls on my birthday (4/15). While my birthday is a day of celebration, as a small business owner dealing with taxes is one of the most undesirable parts of business. Many of us come from a 9-to-5 where taxes are straightforward – to a maze of self-employment taxes, payroll taxes, and state taxes.

The entity you choose for your small business has a huge effect on how you’re taxed. Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular entity choice for many small businesses (note: if you are setting up an entity you should seek a professional opinion to ensure you are making the best choice for your business) because it is easy to set up and provides flexibility that traditional corporations do not – but if you’ve chosen an LLC do you know all of the tax advantages or disadvantages? Here are a few to consider:

LLCs Do Not Have a Specific Tax Category

Because LLCs are fairly new entities, the IRS does not have a specific tax category for this business type. LLC members have a choice when it comes to taxes – they can be taxed as partnerships or corporations. Changing your filing status after the initial election requires a request to the Internal Revenue Service. If LLC’s pay taxes as a partnership, meaning the members pay taxes individually, the LLC still has obligations to the IRS. Each year, LLCs must file a Form 1065, which states their earnings, profits, and losses.

Taxes Assessed on Entire Distributive Share

However members’ distributive shares are divvied up, (50/50, 70/30 etc.) the IRS treats each LLC member as though the member receives his or her entire distributive share each year, even if the LLC does not distribute the money to the members. So if an LLC elected to leave all profits in the business, each LLC member is liable for income tax on his or her rightful share of that revenue.

Self-Employment Taxes

LLC members are required to pay self-employment taxes directly to the IRS i.e. contributions to social security and Medicare. However, owners who are not active in business, meaning they are not providing services or making management decisions,– that is, those who have merely invested money — may be exempt from paying self-employment taxes on their share of profits.

How Are Property Contributions Taxed

In general, the contribution of property, for instance delivery vehicles or computers, to a LLC in exchange for a membership interest, is a tax-neutral event if the LLC is taxed as a partnership – neither the contributing member nor the LLC is taxed.

“You don’t pay taxes–they take taxes.”–Chris Rock

shavon j. smith


DC Chapter of National Society of Black Engineers

At the DC Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers Entrepreneurship Conference where I presented on Performing a Legal Check Up For Your Small Business.

she rocks

I had the pleasure of presenting at the SheRocks brunch during Women’s History Month. SheROCKS is one of the fastest growing events for emerging women artists and entrepreneurs. The event was created to showcase women in the arts while creating ways to accelerate support amongst women entrepreneurs.