Ohio LLC Tax Structure – Classification of LLC Taxes To Be Paid


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A limited liability company in general does not have to pay any business taxes. When we talk about the classification of LLC taxes in Ohio, we know that it is a pass-through taxation structure. Typically, the profit LLC makes passes through the LLC to its members. Based on the profit share, members file their income tax returns. LLCs, unlike other corporations, do not have to pay income taxes based on profit or revenue.

IRS (Internal Revenue Service) allows LLCs to choose their preferable classification of tax at the beginning of the LLC formation. In general, a single-member LLC is taxed as a sole proprietor and a multi-member LLC is taxed as a partnership. As there is no fixed tax structure for LLCs, anyone certainly wants to opt for the most beneficial one. Keep reading till the end to know more about the tax structure of an Ohio LLC and related aspects.

Classification of Ohio LLC Taxes

An LLC is considered a Pass-through Entity because it allows the income to pass through & become self-employment income. The members of the LLC have to pay Self-employment tax or Self-Employment Taxes on any income they earn through the LLC. The LLC has to pay Franchise Tax on its income. In addition to the Self-employment tax, there are some other requirements that an LLC has to consider, such as:

  1. Franchise Tax – Franchise tax applies to or levies upon LLCs, C-corporations, & S-corporations. Sole Proprietorship & Partnerships (directly owned by individuals) are exempted from the Franchise Tax. This tax is to be paid with the office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts.
  2. Federal Tax Identification Number – An LLC with employees must obtain a Federal Tax Identification Number. Ohio does not have a separate State Tax Identification number.
  3. State Employer Taxes – If an LLC has employees on the payroll, it must pay state employer taxes in Ohio. These taxes are handled through Ohio Workforce Commission.
  4. Franchise Tax Report – In Ohio, the LLCs do not file an annual report with the secretary of state; instead, it is submitted in the form of a Franchise Tax Report with the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Federal Tax Classifications

When LLCs were recognized as one of the types of Business Corporations, IRS did not create a new tax classification just for the LLC. LLCs were allowed to choose from the current tax classifications.

LLC Taxes to be Paid in Ohio

Based on the Ohio classification of LLC taxes, as an owner of an LLC in the state of Ohio, you are required to pay the following taxes to the Ohio Department of Revenue.

State Income Tax

As a business owner, the money you pay yourself is referred to as your earnings. This money will be subject to Ohio income tax. These earnings are included in your individual tax return. The income tax rates in Ohio range from 2.85 percent to 4.797 percent. While filing your tax return, you can claim all your deductions and different types of allowances.

State Sales & Use Tax

Ohio sales and use tax is collected on physical items like furniture, cars, raw materials, electrical appliances, etc., and services that are subjected to rent, lease, or retail selling. If your LLC deals in selling such products and services, you are liable to collect and pay sales and use tax. The rate of Sales and Use tax in Ohio is 5.75%.

State Franchise Tax

This is a special type of tax that is levied in some states for permitting any LLC to do business in those states. In some states, it is also known as Business Privilege tax or Transaction Privilege Tax, referring to the privileges of involving in business in the state. Since 2008, Ohio has not had a Franchise Tax

Federal Self-employment Tax

Self-employment or social security tax is the tax paid by the profit-holders or managers of an LLC. It is levied on the collective earnings from your business. Currently, LLC owners in Ohio are liable to pay Self-employment tax at the rate of 15.3%.

Federal Income Tax

Any earnings you take out of your LLC must also be subject to regular federal income tax. Your income tax liability is determined by your wages, current tax bracket, deductions, and filing status.

Only the profits you take out of the firm are subject to federal income tax, minus certain deductions and allowances. This includes your tax-free income, as well as business expenditures and other deductions for things like healthcare and retirement programs.

Employee and Employer Taxes

When you have employees, you have particular employment tax responsibilities to pay and papers to file as the employer. Employers doing business in Ohio are liable for withholding Ohio individual income tax from their employees’ compensation, with limited exceptions. At the time of receiving a salary, all workers of an LLC must collect and withhold the Payroll tax. Your employees may need to submit their own tax returns, regardless of whether you withhold federal and state income taxes.

Default LLC Tax Classification Rules

By default, the LLCs are categorized as below (In both the categories, separate filing of income is not required):

Disregarded Entity (Single-Member LLC)  

A single-member LLC is usually disregarded from the taxes. Hence a single-member LLC is also called a disregarded entity. Under the U.S. tax law, it is assumed that a single-member LLC is owned by an individual (& not by another LLC), so the U.S. tax law levies rules on it as a Sole Proprietor. Single-member LLC’s owner (Sole Proprietor) has to report all the income of the LLC via his own income tax return.

Sole Proprietorship Taxes

As mentioned earlier, the single owner of the LLC is treated as the Sole proprietor of the LLC & has to file the Self-Employment Tax on all of the LLC’s earnings. Ohio does not levy State Income Tax, so a single-member LLC must file only the Federal Income Tax.

Partnership (Multi-Member LLC)

Any LLC with more than one owner is referred to as Multi- Member LLC & it is taxed as a partnership by default. Similar to the Single Owner or Single Member LLC, this LLC is also a pass-through entity. This means that the income of the LLC passes through the income of the members & they have to file taxes through their own earnings.

Partnership Taxes

Partnership or Multi-Member LLC has to pay taxes similar to the Single Member LLC. If the Partnership LLC is directly owned by individuals, it is exempted from the Franchise Tax. All the members of the Multi-Member LLC are liable to pay Self-Employment Tax & Federal Income Tax.

Options to Change Default Tax Classification

The LLCs are categorized either as sole proprietorships or as partnerships, depending on the number of members the LLC has. This is the default tax classification applicable to LLCs. However, the LLCs have an option of changing the default classification & opting to register under the following categories for taxation purposes:

C-Corporation

An LLC can prefer to be treated as a C-corporation by filing form 8832 (the Entity Classification Election Form) with the IRS. The C-corporation is a regular corporation that is subject to corporate taxes & it is not a pass-through entity. 

C-corporation Taxes

An LLC taxed as a C-Corporation is not a pass-through entity. In a C-corporation, the members/shareholders/ owners are taxed separately. The shareholders of the C-corporation are taxed twice on the dividends that they earn. The dividends of the shareholders are taxed at the corporate level – with a Corporate Tax filed with Form 1120 & at a Shareholder level – an Income Tax filed with Form 1040. Shareholders are subjected to Federal Income Tax.

S-Corporation

The S-Corporation is the most common type of corporate structure used by small businesses. It was created to provide corporations with limited liability protection while maintaining the benefits of being a separate legal entity. An LLC can prefer to be treated as S-Corporation by filing Form 2553. S-corporations are small business corporations, that choose to pass through the corporate income, losses, deductions, & credits to the shareholders for the purposes of Federal Taxes.

S-corporation Taxes

An S-Corporation is similar to an LLC except that it is treated by the IRS as a corporation for tax purposes. S-Corps do pay corporate income taxes; however, they are still considered disregarded entities for federal tax purposes.

Like an LLC, an S-Corp reports its annual earnings on a separate Schedule E on the member’s personal account. An S-Corp is treated by the IRS much like a partnership for tax purposes. Unlike Partnership, in S Corporation,  the shareholders are required to pay Federal Self Income tax on their share of the company’s profits.

Choosing a Classification for Your LLC

In terms of owners’ protection against liability, perpetual existence, & savings in Taxation, Both LLCs (Limited Liability Companies) & Corporations are very much alike. However, with regard to formalities, Taxation, & capital, LLCs & Corporations differ in Ohio. 

Liabilities

Both LLCs and Corporations provide liability protection to their owners. The LLC provides protection against inside liability (towards the employee) & outside liability (towards the creditor). The Corporation usually provides only the inside liability. 

Tax Classification Flexibility

For taxation purposes, an LLC has a choice of being treated as a sole proprietorship, Partnership or C-corporation or S-corporation. A corporation can choose to be treated only as C or S Corporation.

Taxation

As mentioned earlier, the LLC can choose to be treated as a corporation; the Corporation does not have the option of being treated as the LLC. An Ohio LLC is subjected to Franchise tax, Federal Income Tax, Sales & Use Taxes & State Employment Taxes (for LLCs that have employees)

A regular corporation or a C- Corporation is subjected to corporate tax, which can be filed through Form 1120 every year. The shareholders have to pay the Income-tax, only when they receive dividends from the Corporation. These dividends are taxed twice at the corporate level (on a corporate form)& at the shareholder level (on shareholder form).

An S- Corporation in LLC is not subjected to corporate taxes. But the shareholders are subjected to Taxation – even if they do not receive any dividends. A member of an Ohio S-corporation has to pay Federal Self employment Tax only on his salary; any other profits that he makes through the LLC are not subject to the 15.3% Self Employment Tax.

Classification of LLC Taxes – At a Glance

Points of Difference             LLCS- CorporationC-CorporationSole Proprietorship 
TaxationAs an LLC, by default, there is no tax levied at the entity level. The members’ income or even the loss is passed through to members or owners.  Similar to LLC, no tax is levied on an S-Corporation at the entity level. The members’ income or even the loss is passed through to members or owners.  The C-Corporation is often taxed at the entity level. The Dividends are taxed at the shareholders’ level.The Sole- proprietorship as an entity is not taxable. The Sole Proprietor pays taxes as an Individual.
Double TaxationThe LLC does not have Double TaxationThere is no Double Taxation in S-Corporation There is Double Taxation in C-Corporation, only when the Shareholders earn in the form of dividends.No Double Taxation in a sole proprietorship.
Self Employment TaxThe net income of the members or owners is subject to self-employment tax. The salaries of the shareholder are subject to self-employment tax, but any other profits that the shareholder makes are not subject to the employment tax.The C-Corporation is subject to self-employment tax.The Sole-proprietorship is subject to self-employment tax
Pass-Through Income/LossAn LLC is often referred to as a Pass-through entity because its income passes through/ passes to its members. Yes, An S Corporation is a Pass-through Entity.No, A C-Corporation is not a Pass-through Entity.Yes, A Sole-proprietorship is a Pass-through Entity.

How Do LLCs Pay Taxes in Ohio

Any LLC operating in Ohio is liable to pay 2 kinds of taxes- state taxes as well as federal taxes.

Whether you are new to Ohio or are looking for an alternative to the typical corporate structure, forming an LLC can be beneficial. An LLC offers flexibility in how you tax your business. You can elect to be taxed as a corporation, an S-corporation, or a sole proprietorship. The amount of tax you owe depends on how much your business makes, how much you pay your employees, and your tax bracket. You can register your LLC online, by mail, or by phone. You can also hire a registered agent to help you.

Once your LLC has been formed, you can register with the Ohio Department of Taxation. You can also register online through the Ohio Business Gateway. Generally, businesses file withholding taxes on a quarterly basis. This allows for easier tax accounting. For instance, if you have an LLC that sells goods to customers, you need to register with the Department of Taxation to collect sales and use taxes. Once your business has been registered, you will receive a vendor license.

If you have employees, you will need to register with the Ohio Department of Taxation and pay them their share of payroll taxes. You will also need to file a separate federal tax return, if your LLC is taxed as a corporation. You will also need to file a quarterly return for a limited liability company that is earning over $2 million a year. You will also need to register with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services if you have employees.

Generally, LLCs are treated as pass-through tax entities by default. This means that the earnings from your business are taxed at the personal income tax rate, and the profits are taxed minus certain deductions. The amount of tax you pay depends on the amount of money your business makes, your tax bracket, and how many employees you have. If you have employees, you will also need to withhold their individual income taxes from their salaries. For example, if you have four employees and earn $40,000 a year, your employer would be required to withhold $16,800 from each of your employees’ wages. Alternatively, you could have your employees file their own taxes.

Ohio’s tax system is highly complicated. There are loopholes that benefit the wealthy, and the system has been corrupted by corporate-backed lobbyists. Fortunately, if you know what you are doing, you can avoid paying double taxes. But you will have to put in the time and effort to set up your LLC.

The first step is to choose a business name. The name must be distinguishable from other Ohio entities. The name can also affect how your business is perceived. In some states, a limited liability company’s name can be restricted. This may mean that you will have to get a license or name your LLC in a more restrictive manner.

You will also need to open a business bank account. If you have more than one owner, you will need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is used to do business with other companies and apply for business licenses.

FAQ

Which Type of Corporation has double taxation?

C-Corporation. It taxes the dividends of the shareholders at the corporate level as well as at an individual level.

Why is an LLC called a pass-through business entity?

An LLC is often referred to as the pass-through entity because the income or the assets pass through the members or owners of the LLC.

What is the default classification of the LLC?

The LLCs have two default classifications. It can be termed as a single-member LLC or a multi-member LLC.

What should be taken into consideration while changing the default classification of the LLC?

When choosing a different classification for taxation, it is essential to understand the liabilities & taxes applicable in that classification.

In Conclusion

Every Tax classification has its own set of benefits & restrictions. Every state will have different taxation rules for each of the categories of business corporations. Depending on the objective of formation of the business entity (Eg. To avoid dual Taxation- one can choose S Corporation, for more flexibility, one can choose the LLC format). It is essential to understand the taxing structure of each country & each Classification; to decide how you wish to treat your LLC.

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