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A business owner pays approximately 16% of his or her salary in payroll tax. The payroll tax is in addition to federal and state income tax. For example, if you pay yourself a salary of $75,000, the payroll tax is approx. $12,000, plus federal and state tax.

Here’s a tip on how to save on payroll taxes. Suppose your business earns a profit of about $75,000 per year. So you pay yourself a salary of $75,000. Your payroll tax is approx. $12,000. If you were operating your business as an “S” corporation, which many small business owners do, then you need to know that distributions of profit from an “S” corporation are not subject to payroll tax.

Instead of paying yourself a salary of $75,000 (all of which is subject to payroll tax), pay yourself a smaller but reasonable salary of say $25,000. Thus, the payroll tax is approximately $4,000. The other $50,000 is distributed to you as an “S” corporation dividend. There is no payroll tax on the $50,000 distribution. That’s a tax savings of approx. $8,000!!!

The same technique can be used for a limited liability company (“LLC”), but it’s a little more complicated. You pay yourself a salary and pay payroll tax on that amount. But there is no payroll tax on an LLC distribution of profit as long as you are not the LLC’c member. Most people either interpose another LLC (owned by you) as the member of the operating LLC, or for example a spouse who does not work in the business is the member of the operating LLC.

Be smart. Sometimes less really is more. But also be reasonable when using this technique. The Libby Law Firm offers experienced business and tax experts to assist you with every aspect of owning and running a successful business.

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