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Hi and welcome to Just Answer! I'm happy to help with your tax questions. Feel free to interject at any time if you need clarification.
LLC partners (known as members) cannot be paid as an employee on a W-2, assuming the LLC is treated as a partnership. LLC members must take their pay in the form of guaranteed payments.
Owners and officers of a Corporation salary should be paid as employees and reported on a W-2. Corporation owners may also take dividends in addition to their payroll.
Wow! You must be in customer service, what a pleasant response!
So, of course this does bring another question.
On the LLC members should they receive set amounts like a salary? Should they send in quarterly withholding to cover their taxes and social security? Any items they pay for personal from the company these should then be considered Members Draw?
On the Corporation how would dividends benefit them?
Is the Corporation allowed to pay any personal expenses from the acccount or should the owner/officer pay these items from their own account after taking their salary?
LLC members generally should receive set amounts like a salary. Yes, they should send in quarterly estimates. Personal items paid for by the company should be considered a draw, which generally would not be taxable. Guaranteed payments are fully taxable.
Dividends would benefit a corporate owner because currently (through 2012) they are taxed at a lower income tax rate than W-2 wages. This provision is set to expire at the end of 2012. Also keep in mind that because dividends are a distribution of the accumulated earnings of the corporation, they are "double-taxed" since they have already been taxed once at the corporate level and are being taxed at a second time at the individual level. A corporation should not pay any personal expenses of the owner. Those should be paid after taking salary.
So, if a member is taking $5000.00 a month for personal expenses should it be listed as guaranteed salary or draw or should the amount be split between the two? Is there a rule of thumb as to how much should be guaranteed salary compared to draw?
Guaranteed payments are meant to replace the salary that a partner is not allowed to take due to the business structure of the organization. I would say that $5,000 a month regularly is most likely guaranteed payments, but it all depends on the circumstances. Since draws can only be taken to the extent a partner has capital, there is no set formula.
It is always cleanest for the partner to take a flat amount and deposit into their personal checking amount and then write any checks for personal expenses in there. Even for a draw, I would recommend a check to the partner rather than a check to cover the personal expense.
Draws cannot exceed a partners capital invested plus their share of accumulated earnings. That is their total "capital". Draws cannot exceed this amount for tax reasons. Since draws are not taxed (the share of partnership income was already taxed when earned), they cannot exceed the amount invested/already taxed - the partner's total capital account.
I saw that. Thanks!