One of the biggest reasons business owners incorporate as S-Corps over C-Corps is tax-related. C-Corps are taxed on two levels: the profits the C-Corp earns and dividends received by the C-Corp’s shareholders. S-Corps are exempted from taxes on corporate profits. This means no double-taxation.This also means that shareholders pay taxes on their personal returns, while the company itself passes the profit (or losses) directly to those shareholders. As such, an S-Corp is a “pass-through entity,” much in the way an LLC is.

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So how does it work?


First off, an S-Corp must pay its employees a “reasonable salary,” which itself is subject to taxes like Medicare or Social Security. After that, the S-Corp distributes profits in the form of dividends to its shareholders. These shareholders will pay taxes on those dividends as part of their personal federal tax returns.


There’s one important thing to keep in mind here, though. In a C-Corp, the business can choose to retain their profits as operating capital. C-Corp shareholders are not taxed if they do not receive dividends. S-Corps shareholders, on the other hand, are taxed regardless of whether they receive dividends. As such, S-Corp shareholders can pay taxes on profits they never directly receive.


S-Corps will have to fill out IRS Form 1120S.


You can learn how a C-Corp is taxed here, or get more information below in our Incorporation Learning Center.

Get Started Start your S-Corp Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get Started Start your S-Corp Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.