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Is Pass-Through Tax Treatment the Same for LLC’s and S Corporations?

No, not exactly. It is the same in that neither entity itself pays income taxes, passing profits through to the members/shareholders. But there is a difference that gives LLC members an advantage. While S Corporations must allocate profits in direct proportion to shareholders’ ownership, LLC’s are free to allocate profits without regard to their members’ ownership share.

In addition, LLC members have an advantage when it comes to determining the maximum amount of business losses they can report on their tax return in a year. S Corporation shareholders are limited to the “basis” of their stock, that is what they paid for the stock plus and minus adjustments during the corporation’s life, and plus personal loans to the corporation. The maximum amount of business losses LLC members can report on their tax return in a year is calculated in the same way except that they are allowed to also include their pro rata share of money borrowed by the LLC.

Of course S Corporations do have their advantages, one of which is covered in   “Can S Corporation status reduce self-employment taxes?”

In view of the complexity of tax issues, it is always wise to consult with a skilled professional tax advisor when forming a business.

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