To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate? THAT is the Question (Part 5)

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This is part 5 of Anker Reed HSC’s blog series entitled “To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate? That is the Question”.

Partnerships and limited liability companies are treated for tax purposes as conduits whose income and deductions pass through to the partners or members as they are realized, with the various items retaining their original character in the process.” (Fundamentals of Corporate Taxation 703, 4th ed. 1997) The partnership will still file an income tax return with the government, but this tax return will solely be for informational purposes. The individual partners pay the actual tax.

For example, a partnership that has taxable income of $1,000,000 for the taxable year will pay no tax on this income. The partners will pay the tax. Should there be two partners, each partner will have taxable income before individual deductions of $500,000. It is important to note that percentage of control in a partnership may be negotiated amongst the partners, in that a partnership may not always be 50/50. For this analysis, and in the interest of simplicity, we will assume a 50/50 partnership. This amount does not include amounts paid by the partnership to the partners as compensation, or in any other form, received during the taxable year.

In applying § 1 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code, each partner’s assessed tax before individual deductions will be $77,485 plus 39.6% of all income over $250,000. Therefore, in the absence of any other personal deductions, each partner’s tax will be approximately $176,485.  The partnership itself will not be subject to tax, but “the persons carrying on business as partners shall be liable for income tax only in their separate or individual capacities.” (I.R.C. § 701, Supp. 2000).

* For specific inquiries regarding a tax planning legal matter that you may have, you are welcome to visit our Los Angeles Tax Planning Attorney services page.

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To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate? THAT is the Question (Part 4)

DETROIT -  JANUARY 13:  Sergio Marcionne (L) C...
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This is part 4 of Anker Reed HSC’s blog series entitled “To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate? That is the Question”.

“The desire to avoid employee classification, and to obtain the benefits of the corporate form and independent contractor status, often motivates workers to create an employee loan-out corporation.” (La France, 1995)

Primarily, though, an entertainer will be considering the formation of a business entity for the purpose of creating a more beneficial tax structure. By filtering income through a business entity and with proper Tax Planning advice, different tax advantages arise. Yet, the structures of a limited liability company (“LLC“) and a partnership will not provide the desired tax benefit to an entertainer.

A partnership includes a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or other unincorporated organization through or by means of which any business, financial operation, or venture is carried on, and which is not, within the meaning of this title, a corporation or a trust or estate.

* For specific inquiries regarding a business legal matter that you may have, you are welcome to visit our Business Organization and Business Formation legal services page.

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To Incorporate or not to Incorporate? THAT is the Question (Part 3)

LAS VEGAS - MAY 21:  Entertainer Donny Osmond ...
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This is part 3 of Anker Reed HSC’s blog series entitled “To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate? That is the Question”.

Which Business Entity Should the Entertainer Choose?

The analysis of which business entity will be most advantageous for an entertainer is no different from the analysis done with regard to which business entity will be optimal in any other industry. An analysis of the benefits and detriments with regard to liability, tax consequences, and control issues all factor in the decision of which business entity to employ. Over time, though, this analysis has been refined in that attorneys and accountants have recognized that certain business entities are more favorable in certain industries while other business entities more appropriately pertain to other industries.

The general analysis of the benefits and detriments of the various business entities have led attorneys and accountants to conclude that incorporating is more advantageous to an entertainer than forming a limited liability company, partnership, or other business entity. This is because the purposes for the formation of a business entity by an entertainer will not be served by any of the alternative business entities. The other attributes of incorporation, namely liability protection and control issues, become irrelevant.  Usually a corporation’s directors and shareholders will be shielded from liability in that a corporation and its owners are separate entities. This is untrue, though, when the shareholders have personally guaranteed the liability. This was a major teaching of the Basinger case, in that had Ms. Basinger signed the contract on her own behalf, this effectively would have been a personal guarantee of the contract. Additionally, the control issues are not important to analyze in that an entertainer is usually the sole shareholder of the loanout corporation.

* For specific inquiries regarding a business legal matter that you may have, you are welcome to visit our Business Organization Formation legal services page.

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