LLCs Offer Flexible Tax Benefits
Since the LLC has been in existence for quite some time, you may be familiar with its personal protection, low cost and ease of operation. While these are great benefits to you as a freelancer, they don’t do the LLC the justice it deserves. The LLC’s flexibility allows you to mix and match benefits from various business forms into a custom bundle that best suits your needs. And a good example of flexibility is tax treatment.
When you initially set up your LLC, you will elect one of two forms of taxation:
- Pass through taxation: Your freelance business earnings will be taxed like a partnership. In other words, the business itself won’t pay any taxes. Rather, the taxes are “passed through” to you as the business owner and paid on your personal tax return.
- Corporate taxation: Sometimes referred to as double taxation, your freelance business will pay the corporate tax rate, but you will also personally pay taxes on any wages or distributions made to you as an employee and/or owner of the LLC.
LLCs actually allow you to mix corporate and partnership tax structures to take advantage of perks from both models. For instance, assuming your business meets all the requirements for S-Corp status—if you are a single-member, freelancer business, you most likely meet this—you can actually elect to be taxed as a corporation, and then an S-Corporation. This provides a tax-beneficial mix of corporate and partnership tax.
In the end, you bypass the initial corporate tax, but only pay capital gains rates on the pass through tax at the personal level. This tax structure arrives while still only having to meet the LLC requirements from a reporting standpoint—a perfect mix of ease and tax beneficial treatment.