With a new 3.8% tax on “unearned” income kicking in in 2013, it’s very difficult to limit your tax to just “ordinary” income tax. If your income is earned, you pay 15.3% Self-Employment (Social Security) tax. If your income is un-earned, you now have the new 3.8% Net Investment Income (NII) tax to pay.
Profits from an S corporation are just about the only income that escapes Self-Employment tax as well as the 3.8% NII tax. The S corporation is now an even more attractive form of entity to minimize taxes for owners of certain businesses, depending upon the facts and circumstances. After paying reasonable compensation to the owners, the remainder of the profits flow through to owner’s personal tax returns subject only to income tax, not Self-Employment or NII tax.
There are several areas you can address to possibly reduce your overall tax. Is your “Reasonable Compensation” unreasonably high? If it is, you may be paying Social Security tax on that compensation unnecessarily. Even if you are over the Social Security wage limit ($113,700 in 2013) you still continue to pay the Medicare tax of 2.9% coupled with the new 0.9% Medicare surcharge for high-wage earnings totaling 3.8%. Find out what is the standard of executive compensation for companies of your size, industry niche and profitability. [Read more…] about Tax Planning Tips for the new 3.8% Net Investment Income Surtax