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Level 1

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp? What is the tax implication? What is the difference between that and K-1 income?

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Accepted Solutions
Alumni bwa
Alumni

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

Distributions of previously taxed income from an S-Corporation are not subject to income tax if you have the basis in your stock to cover them.  However, they should not be taken before the S-Corporation has paid you reasonable wages (subject to FICA and Medicare Tax) for your services.

11 Replies
Alumni bwa
Alumni

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

Distributions of previously taxed income from an S-Corporation are not subject to income tax if you have the basis in your stock to cover them.  However, they should not be taken before the S-Corporation has paid you reasonable wages (subject to FICA and Medicare Tax) for your services.

Level 1

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

I do take a small salary but it is not my primary source of income.  I have W2 income.  The distribution was relatively small.  Is there a formula as a percentage distribution to income?
Alumni bwa
Alumni

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

Unfortunately, there is no percentage or standard.  The concern is that the IRS feels that taking distributions before a reasonable salary is an attempt to avoid FICA taxes.
Level 17

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

And if you are the sole shareholder and only employee of the S-Corp the IRS takes the position, pretty much by default, that all the income of the S-Corp is your "reasonable salary."
Level 20

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

Level 1

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

I'm the sole shareholder however, I have one employee that I paid more than I took.  It's a very small company.
Level 1

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

You got a source on that TomYoung? That's not true at all. Reasonable salary is what is reasonable for your profession, and you set that by doing research and noting  how you came up with that salary. Anything beyond that is a distribution to shareholder and is not subject to medicare/fica
Level 1

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

What if there are multiple owners of a specific S Corp, who decides when (and how much) distributions should be? Does it need to be a Board decision?
Level 1

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

Here's another question perhaps someone can help with. Can a Sub-S vary distribution based on shareholder activity in the company? For example, three equal (1/3) owners of a Sub-S contribute varying levels in the course of a year. I understand we can only have a single stock class and we must first pay ourselves a reasonable wage. Let's say we pay ourselves $50/hour. At the end of the year we have $30,000 dollars to distribute to shareholders. Could our bylaws layout a distribution scenario where $15,000 dollars is split purely based on the shareholder ownership and the remaining $15,000 dollars be based on a combination of shareholder ownership and payroll hours recorded? The second $15K is being used to reward shareholders who put the most effort in to the company over the year. Sort of like variable compensation, but we won't know how much we can vary until we complete the taxes?
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Level 4

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

Question. I have had S Corp for 14 years.

 

The first 10 years I was using it as "Side gigs".  I did not take distributions or salary for like 8 years.  The next 4 the income increased and I took a reasonable salary and very little distributions.

 

In 2019 I will probably net only $5000 because I didn't do anything in the S Corp.  I do not want to take a salary on $5000 as the fees are ridiculous for that little payroll.   

 

My question is I have a lot of money from the last 14 years that I already paid taxes on.  Can I take them as distributions (retained earnings) this year without a payroll in 2019?

 

It doesn't seem right if you earn $1,000,000 in a year and take $100,000 salary but leave the $900,000 in the account for future years that you would have to take a payroll in a year with no earnings just so you can access the $900,000. 

 

It does make sense that you would have to take a salary in a year you are taking distributions IF you have net income to justify it.

 

 

Level 20

When and why would I take distributions from my S-Corp?

Ok ... i highly recommend you talk to a local tax professional to get educated since an S-corp doesn't have retained earnings.