The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Subchapter S Corporations

K-1 Profit - Subject To Self-Employment Tax?

In an S corporation, only the salary paid to the employee-owner is subject to employment tax. The remaining income that is paid as a distribution is not subject to employment tax under IRS rules. Therefore, there is the potential to realize substantial employment tax savings. A major factor that differentiates an S corporation from an LLC is the employment tax that is paid on earnings. The owner of an LLC is considered to be self-employed and, as such, must pay a “self-employment tax” of 12.3% which goes toward social security and Medicare. The entire net income of the business is also subject to self-employment tax.

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