What Is an S Corporation, C Corp, and LLC: What they are and why they matter in 2024?

c corp

There’s a lot of buzz around the S Corporation Election and its implications for businesses. Let’s clear the air and help you make informed decisions. This guide aims to demystify these questions and help business owners determine their business tax status and whether to choose the S Corp Election

❓ What Is an S Corporation?

An S Corporation isn’t a business entity; it’s a tax election at the federal level. To become an S Corp for tax purposes, business owners must first register their company as either an LLC or Inc. Then, if they meet eligibility requirements, they may elect to become an S Corporation for federal tax purposes.

IRS S Corp Eligibility Requirements 📑

The IRS has specific eligibility requirements for S Corporations. Here’s a summary; you can find more detailed tax information on the IRS website.

To qualify, the company must:

  • 👉 Be a domestic (USA) corporation
  • 👉 Have shareholders that are individuals, certain trusts, and estates
  • 👉 Not have corporations or non-resident alien shareholders
  • 👉 Have no more than 100 shareholders
  • 👉 Have only one class of stock
  • 👉 Not be an ineligible corporation (e.g., certain financial institutions, insurance companies, and domestic international sales corporations)

❓ What is a C Corporation?

Disorganized books can lead to a lot of problems, such as fraud, deceitful tactics, and internal control nightmares. Keeping your records straight is crucial.

Double-Taxation for C Corporations ➕➕

Double taxation may occur when a corporation pays dividends to its shareholders. These dividends aren’t tax deductible, so the C Corp pays income tax on these profits, then the shareholders also pay tax on the same income via their personal tax returns. Avoiding this double taxation is one of the primary reasons for a business to consider the S Corp election.

💡 S Corp Election for C Corporations

A business can avoid double taxation if it uses an S Corp status for federal taxes. There are pros and cons to this election.

C Corp shareholders may benefit from an S Corp if they want to retain personal liability protection but avoid possible double taxation.

Because each business is unique, owners should consult an expert for professional guidance when making this decision.

❓ Limited Liability Company (LLC) Taxation

A Limited Liability Company or LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners and provides personal liability protection. However, the IRS does not recognize an LLC as its own entity for tax purposes. An LLC starts out as either a single-member disregarded entity, or with two or more partners as a partnership.

All business profits and losses flow through the LLC to its members’ personal tax returns. The company’s taxable income is subject to self-employment taxes (FICA, aka Social Security and Medicare taxes) and income tax.

💡 S Corp Election for LLCs

If an eligible LLC elects S Corporation taxation status, the income paid to LLC members via payroll is subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes, but profits paid as distributions are not.

This often helps LLC members lower their personal tax burden. However, the company must pay its owners reasonable compensation for their work or risk raising a red flag with the IRS.

S Corp Election Tax Help

There’s a lot to consider in 2024 regarding S Corporations, C Corporations, LLCs, and business taxes. We urge business owners to contact a professional for assistance before making any decisions regarding business entities, federal tax elections, and filing tax return forms.

Ready to take the next step? Reach out to us today for personalized advice tailored to your business needs. Let’s find the best tax strategy for your unique situation together.


Insogna CPA