Utah 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 Utah, 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 a Utah LLC and related aspects.

Classification of Utah 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. Utah 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 Utah. These taxes are handled through Utah Workforce Commission.
  4. Franchise Tax Report – In Utah, the LLCs file a Franchise Tax Report with the Utah Tax Commission.

Federal Tax Classifications

When LLCs was 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 Utah

According to the Utah classification of LLC taxes, an LLC which is operating in the state of Utah is required to pay the below-specified taxes:

State Income Tax

Any amount you pay to yourself as a business owner is entitled to Utah income tax. These revenues are reflected on your tax return. You’ll be taxed at Utah’s ordinary rates, with regular allowances and deductions available. Employees must likewise pay state income tax. Utah has a 4.95 percent flat tax for all income levels.

State Sales & Use Tax

You may be required to collect sales tax and pay it to the Utah State Tax Commission if you sell tangible goods or certain types of services. The sales tax in Utah is collected at the point of transaction. The current sales tax rate in Utah is 4.85 percent. However, an additional sales tax is levied by some counties, municipalities, and towns. These additional charges are variable, making the total sales tax range from 6.10 percent to 9.05 percent.

State Franchise Tax

This tax is also known as Business Privilege Tax in some states, due to the fact that operating an LLC in a state is a privilege. The state of Utah does not levy any franchise tax. 

Federal Self-employment Tax

Any profit bearer or management of a Utah LLC who turns a profit must pay the Federal Self-Employment Tax. The profits of individual members of management are subject to the federal self-employment tax. The federal self-employment tax in Utah is 15.3%.

Federal Income Tax

Profits earned by your LLC are taxed at the federal level in addition to the state level. Your federal income tax rate is determined by your revenues, your LLC’s industry, the proper LLC tax bracket, reductions, and other several considerations.

Employer & Employee Tax

When you have employees, you have certain employment tax requirements to meet and documentation to file. Employers doing business in Utah must deduct Utah individual income tax from their employees’ salaries, with a few exceptions. At the time of receiving a payout, all LLC employees are required to collect and withhold the Payroll tax. Your employees may be obliged to submit their own tax forms no matter whether you withhold federal and state income taxes or not. 

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. Utah 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 Utah. 

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. A Utah 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 a Utah 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 Utah

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

Unlike other states, Utah does not tax LLCs on a statewide basis. However, Utah residents may need to pay state income taxes on their business earnings. If you are not sure, contact your local city or county government. They can help you determine if you need to file a tax return.

Utah does not require an LLC to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The EIN is a nine-digit number used by state and federal tax authorities to identify your business. It is sometimes called the “Federal Employer Identification Number.” In addition to being used for tax filings, the EIN is also used to open a bank account. Obtaining an EIN can be done through the US Internal Revenue Service. You can also request a letter from the IRS confirming your EIN.

If your LLC will sell goods, you will also need to register for a seller’s permit and a sales tax license. These can be obtained by registering online or in the Utah State Tax Commission. You will need to pay a $20 processing fee. If you are a non-profit, you will need to pay a $10 processing fee.

Utah LLCs must also file an annual renewal report. This report is typically due on the anniversary of your LLC’s formation. The Utah Division of Corporations will send you a renewal notice about 60 days before your report is due. A renewal notice is important because if you fail to submit your renewal report, you will be subject to a $25 penalty fee.

Utah LLCs will need to obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) if they intend to hire employees. The EIN is used by the federal government and by state and local governments to file employee and employer income taxes. Obtaining an EIN is a requirement for many businesses. If you are starting a business, you may be required to get a business license or permit from your county, city or town. You can also get information about these requirements from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

An LLC operating agreement can help ensure the stability of your company. An operating agreement protects your business assets and prevents disputes within your company. It is also a good idea to have a registered agent for your LLC. A registered agent can be an employee or an individual. The registered agent will have the responsibility of ensuring that all tax forms are filed and accounted for. If you are unsure about how to file an LLC operating agreement, you may wish to consult a tax professional.

An LLC can be a pass-through entity that enables its owners to deduct a certain percentage of the LLC’s net income for tax purposes. You can find out more about this feature in Nolo’s article, “50 State Guide to Operating an LLC.” You can also get more information about the tax rules for LLCs from Utah State Tax Commission.

An LLC is a popular choice for entrepreneurs because of its flexibility. An LLC is similar to a corporation, but unlike a corporation, an LLC does not have shareholders. This allows members to avoid paying federal tax on their business earnings. In addition, an LLC has less complicated regulations than a C corporation.

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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