Small business owners may be looking forward to a tax break in the new year. The GOP tax plan was hastily engineered and rolled out to benefit big corporations--not small business owners. Now a 20% deduction is available to entrepreneurs—but there are limits. You may qualify for the break if your taxable income is below $157,500 if single, or $315,000 if married.
Becoming an LLC may come with additional requirementsMany of our clients over the last few years have upgraded their business status to an LLC or other corporate structure. The reasons are simple— it separates the business from its owners. A corporation acts like a completely separate body that can do things like buy and sell property, be taxed and enter into contracts. Most importantly, it protects its owners from personal liability for corporate debts and obligations. LLCs are very popular right now, and an LLC can save you money on taxes, but there’s a caveat.
Here are some things to think about if you’re considering an LLC:
1. An LLC isn’t a free-for-allThe new tax law's 20% deduction on qualified business income is subject to limitations that keep it from being a free-for-all for every entrepreneur. In general, to qualify for the full deduction, your taxable income must be below $157,500 if you're single or $315,000 if you're married and file jointly.
2. If income exceeds these thresholds, you may not qualify for the deductionEntrepreneurs with potentially high-earning service businesses, such as doctors, lawyers, CPAs and financial advisors—those positioned to make a lot of money--may not be able to take advantage of the deduction because their incomes exceed the limits.
3. Your spouse’s income: Another caveat that may further limit the potential deductionPartners in a business may find themselves in another situation in which one owner gets the 20% deduction and the other doesn't. While partners may qualify, if they have a high-income spouse, they may wind up exceeding the taxable income threshold. In this case you can have two people doing the same work for the same pay, but only one can take the deduction on his/her return because of other factors.
An LLC protects owners from having their personal assets seized by the business' creditors. For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, an LLC remains the best choice for an upgrade to a sole proprietorship. With the new tax laws, an LLC now provides additional benefits.