What are the tax differences between having someone pay my business versus paying me personally?
I will be working for someone else for a while, running a couple of dog training classes at her facility. I'll be gaining experience doing this before I set out on my own. For tax purposes, should I have her pay me personally, or write checks to my business? I don't have a tax ID number for the business yet. I read that I don't have to have one as a sole owner/member of an LLC. I haven't decided whether to file business taxes separately or not. I want to do whatever is the smartest and most efficient.
First a sole owner is your name. A business name s a DBA and should be file in your hoe county. LLC is another type of organization an must have a Federal ID. Dog training at her facility does she tell you when to work, provide all equipment you may really be an employee. If you are being paid as being self employed keep track of all miles and any expense you may have. You are subject to self employment tax f you make a profit of over $400.00 There are many issues involved here Do you have a local SBA maybe get some inf. from them to help your choices.
Your question - for tax purposes, should I have her pay me personally, or write checks to my business?
You can’t choose whether you are an employee or independent contractor. It is a fact and circumstance test. If she pays you directly, I am assuming you are also arguing that you are a consultant. If she pays your business, this could provide more support that you are an independent contractor though a critical factor in determining the status of a consultant is also the existence of more than one client. Generally, where a consultant holds himself out to the public as being available to provide services, and maintains an independent office, the consultant may be classified as an independent contractor. The general rule followed by the IRS is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. Reviewing Form SS-8 will help you make the proper determination under the IRS guidelines though this may not follow judicial law with respect to certain aspects of these rules.
So what happens if you and your employer make a mistake? That is, if your employer incorrectly classifies you as an independent contractor?
Well, there is an employer safe harbor rule under Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978. This safe harbor statute provides relief to employers from the IRS over the classification of workers. It also prevents the IRS from issuing regulations and revenue rulings aimed at degrading common law employment status determination. There are many rules under this section but one defense I have seen used successfully by an employer in proving a “reasonable basis” was the reliance on professional advice. It seemed fair to some courts (not all though), that when a CPA or an attorney advises a taxpayer on a matter of tax law, such as whether a liability exists, it is reasonable for the taxpayer to rely on this advice.
Your question - I don't have a tax ID number for the business yet. I read that I don't have to have one as a sole owner/member of an LLC.
For federal income tax purposes, if your single-member LLC is classified is as a disregarded entity (DE) you may use your SS # with this employer unless your LLC has employees or you are required to file certain excise tax returns. If the person you are working for requests you to complete a Form W-9, you would generally provide your SSN, not the LLC’s EIN assuming your LLC even has a EIN.
However, remember a LLC will need an EIN if it has any employees or if it is required to file certain excise tax forms. If you need an EIN, your LLC may apply for this by completing Form SS-4. Also, for practical purposes a single-member LLC may need an EIN to open a bank account or a state tax law may require your single-member LLC have a federal EIN.
Your question - I haven't decided whether to file business taxes separately or not.
You are taking the position that you should receive a Form 1009, which means you are required to file a schedule C with your tax return regardless if this falls under an LLC or not. You need to carefully account for your expenses as the IRS loves to tick and tie expenses to receipts. And yes you should hire a tax professional to help you with your taxes. If your familiar with excel you could start accounting for these expenses using this program.
You stated that your business is set up as an LLC. In general, a LLC is a business entity organized in the U.S. under state law which affords its members limited personal liability for its debts. However, when you form an LLC, remember you also have to choose how to have the entity taxed. With a single member LLC the choices are sole proprietor, S-Corp or C-Corp. You may want to elect S Corp status for tax purposes for many reasons. Here is how it works.
A LLC may elect to be treated as a corporation for tax purposes by filing Form 8832, Entity Classification Election. Once you are a corporation you then elect to be treated as an S corp by filing form 2253. If you elect to be treated as a corporation you want to elect S corp status as this is better tax wise than a corporation.
For your first election year, your corporation may file an S election at any time during the tax year preceding the election year, up to the fifteenth day of the third month of the election year (i.e., within the first 21/2 months). If the election is made after the fifteenth day of the third month of the year, the election will not take effect until the first day of the succeeding year.
Therefore, there is a choice here on using a S Corp for tax purposes though you may wish to go the LLC DE route (in this case a sole proprietor). However if you set yourself up as a S Corp (this doe not apply to an LLC set up as a DE for tax purposes) your employer would not be required to issue you a Form 1099, and you can reduce your self employment taxes by paying yourself part salary and part dividends.
Hope this helps.
I am in favor of the comments/advice given by Diane Charles, Steven Perry and Heresh Melwani. The advantage of being incorporated is at least twofold: indemnity from liabilities and the opportunity to offset qualified expenses against income thus reducing your taxable income. If my memory serves me right I doubt that as personal income your gross income would be taxable. It should depend on whether you have reached the total of your exemptions and other personal allowances.
I agree with most of the previous comments.
The one exception is the in the United States if you are paid $600 or more by any one person or entity your are issued a 1099 regardless of your standing as a business or individual. Also, if you are taking credit cards the credit card companies will be sending you a reporting form for all the payment they processed that went to you.
If you do not have a tax adviser I would strongly recommend you get one.
What is your tax jurisdiction? Specific answers will require specific information which applies to the tax jurisdiction you are located in..
Generally, you should be able to do either method but usually tax for a business income is more preferable as it is less than personal tax. Again, it depends on your specific circumstances.
I would recommend you locate a reliable tax accountant to assist you.
There are different rules in the different locations, in Australia if the business was in a Company it would be taxed differently, provided it passed the rules regarding Personal Services income.
I see that you are a US citizen so you would be best to be advised by a US licenced CPA or tax advisor.
Have her write checks to your business. Having clients pay my company, a C-corp, for my services, instead of myself, has literally saved me from paying out tens of thousands in taxes each year.
I'm not sure I agree with the comments about 1099's. Only Corporations (S and C-Corps) are exempt from receiving 1099's. They must be issued by mayors to LLCs, partnerships and sole proprietors.
so long as the business is an LLC filed on the schedule C of your personal return, not much. Every dollar of income the LLC earns (minus deductible expenses) is added to every dollar you earn before determining your tax rate.
Hi Carol. I agree with what most everyone has stated. As any good consultant for any business would say, "...ask your CPA...". If you don't have one, get one.