For many, starting a small business is a dream that they have had since they were young. We grow up hearing about the American dream and that their is a fortune waiting for you on the other side of the rainbow, So a selected few starting a business could bring a great fortune. For most, starting and running a business is a very stressful  way to go through life. Without said many people have entrepreneurship in their blood. It’s possible your mother or your father was an entrepreneur and so to the core of you phyche you always so yourself as the same. You probably have watched them and thought to yourself, “I bet I can do a better job”. Its also not necessary to have entrepreneurship running through your family. Maybe you saw your family memebers doing the “9-5” things for 20 years and you don’t see yourself going down that road.

When you finally take that leap of faith your going to face some different challenges that you otherwise would not face if you were an employee of a company. First and foremost you realize their is no paycheck at the end of the week. I’m sure your parents, siblings and friends have done their share of reminding you about this. Their is no shortage of fears sourounding venturing off on your own. You know now that their is no guarantee in business.

When you finally start you will need to get yourself acquainted with  a Schedule C. Schedule C is a tax form that is attached to you individual taxes (1040). The Schedule C is for the sole proprietor otherwise known as an unicorporated business. Before you go off an get yourself incorporated I want help you pull the reigns back a bit  I have witnessed to many people jump at the idea of incorporating because this means that they are now officially a business. I disagree with this 100%. If you are doing anyting even if it is aside business you are in business and are trying to become a success at it. Incoprating to early can be a costly journey. First off you have the fees involved in the incorporation process. If you do it yourself you might get it done for under 600 dollars or should you need an accountant or an attorney you are looking at $1,200-$1,500. We charge here $1,195 for your reference. Their are also additional documents that you have to file with the IRS and the State beyond the cost of a basic incorporation package .

This really is just the beginning of the process. What if its your first time starting a business and you quickly realize that you or your family is not going to stomach the ebbs and flows of what starting a business entails.  You decide with renewed energy that its best you get back into the work force. The money you lost to incorporate will surely bother you. Unless you have a very high liability type of business that Incoprating and getting a lawyer to work is needed I recommend holding off on incorporation until you can prove to get through the first 2 years of business. When you incorporate you have additional things to think about and as a new business its a lot to take in. Should I be an S-Corp, C-Corp, Partnership or LLC? In each of these situations you have some consulting that needs to be done. I just don’t think you need to concern yourself with these decisions when your first starting out.

In my Business Book I talk about everything you need to know about the incorporation topic. So when your ready the resource is available but for now we are going to stick to the sole proprietor and the Schedule C.

The easiest way to look at a Schedule C is that its a profit and loss statement for your business. You probably didn’t think we would be getting into accounting reports however its the most basic way to look at a Schedule C. The Schedule C is a separate document belonging to the 1040 (your personal Return). The amount that we call net Profit will “flow” to Line 12 and be added to all of your other income on your return. This is Sch C 101.  The Schedule C on your software is going to request that you enter all of your 1099’s that you received as a subcontractor. Do not just add all of your 1099’s and put it on to the line for your income. 1099’s go on line 2. The IRS has received the exact same documents that you have received and are linking them up to what you are submitted. Its important that each 1099 is entered assuming that you are using a software which is recommended.  Not everyone who is in business receives a 1099. Many business operate partly on a cash basis. Enter your cash receipts on Line 1. This is were keeping a good set of books is important. If your books are in order and all you income is reported correctly you will want to add your 1099’s up and them subtract them from your Gross Profit on your books. The importance of this is so that you have your line for Cash and your line for 1099’s separate. Their is one more Line of income you are going to want to enter into your system and that is the amount of Income you received from your merchant account or Credit card charges. Credit card payments are reported on Schedule K and you will want to enter the information into your software just as it looks on the document. Once again the IRS does have a copy of this document so do not lump sum it with 1099’s and Cash. Mark everything out seperatly or you can believe you will be getting a letter from the IRS which states that they have no record of you Credit Card payments received. Save yourself the pain of needing an accountant fix this up. You will lose all of the financial savings you recognized if an amended return is need to be filed. Keep your income documents in order.

What can I deduct for my expenses. In general if their was one answer it would be, every expense that is related to your business. The schedule C provides many lines for all the different expenses however not every category is represented by the Schedule C document. Its possible that you could have many items in other expenses.

One main expense you want to track is mileage. You get a choice as to whether you want to deduct actual expenses which include gas and repairs or if you would like to include mileage. Unless you are running a big rig arounsd town, mileage will net you more of a deduction than actual expenses would bring you. Schedule C is a better place to put mileage in genral its easier to track. The deductions for milage is always around the 50 cent mark. Let’s say you you drive 15,000 miles as a realtor that would net you a $7,500 expense. Its safe to say that you did not pay $7,500 in gas and probably not in repairs as well. You can see this huge advantage to tracking the amount of miles you drive for your business. This will net you a large savings on taxes. Other expense you might think about:

Advertising and Marketing

Office Supplies

Legal and accounting fees.


Utilities including Phone and internet.

Computer equipment

Certain items you will not deduct as expenses rather as depreciable items. Depreciation is something that deserves a little more of a look at. Although the scope of deprecation is vast we don’t have the capacity here to dive into everything that needs to be known about it or how it is figured. This is just a tax tips book To learn more about depreciation search Publication 946 on the website You want to keep in mind a few things.

  1. To figure depreciation you must know the cost basis of the property you are depreciating.
  2. You need to know the asset class life of the property you are depreciating.
  3. Computer, machinery, cars of trucks etc. all have various different useful life to consider.

Depreciation is a great way to stretch out your expense over a long periosd of time. Depreciation allows for an expense to systematically be taken year after year.

Health Insurance is another expense that is deductible however the deduction might look like it starts on the Schedule C but it ultimately does not end up on the Schedule C.  This unfortunate tax law does not allow the expense when figuring the payroll tax you will be paying on your income. Health insurance is a deduction that will not flow ontho Line 12 the way the rest of your income does instead it currently flows on to what is called the “above the line deductions” found on line 29 of the 1040. Do not try to squeeze this into the Schedule C. Make sure your deduction is carried to line 29.

Home Office deduction:

Everyone who starts their own business will say that they work from home and would like to deduct the expenses for running the business out of the home. The deduction for home business use must be scrutinized more than most. Its understood among professionals that if you want to be audited this deduction sure can be the one to raise the red flag. Their are a few things you must first ask your self if you are going to take this deduction. Do I have a designated room to work out of? If you are working in a living room were you have a desk or if you put your desk in the living room to work from I would advise as well as the IRS advise, do not take a Home Office deduction. If you have a room that you have strictly designated as a Home office than you may be allowed to take the deduction. If you can take the deduction than you will need to figure out how much of this office is a part of your home. If your home is 1000 square feet and the office is 200 square feet than you are entitled to deduct 20% of your household expenses which would include: Rents, Insurance, repairs utilities and taxes. Their are a few more you will notice on the form you are filing out which is the Form 8829. This form will attach to your schedule C. Keep in mind you have direct expenses which relate directly to your business and indirect expenses If the expense relates indirectly that means that your only going to take the percentage of the expense that relates to the office space. The indirect amount in our example would be the 20%. If it ends up you are filing this form it might pay to hire someone to do your taxes. You don’t want to mess up this document because it is a “Red Flag” This deduction is a great deduction to take just be mindful that you fall into the parameters of the rules.

We have given you a large amount of information to swallow in a short period of time. My final thoughts on the Schedule C are this. Try not to co mingle you funds so that you have a clear idea of how much you are making  Keep a strong set of books. Their are many popular bookkeeping programs to choose from, you can also get a free version on an open source platform. If you use a free open source accounting system keep in mind it is free because its simple and it might not have all the functions and features a paid software might have however its a start to keeping track of income and expenses without going into your pocket. .If your books are in order, you can save time preparing your return or you can save  money on preparation. Accountants love an organized client and will charge less than they would if you came in with a shoe box of receipts.

That’s the Schedule C in a nutshell. If you think its time to incorporate you have some added benefits that I write about in MY BUSINESS BOOK but for now lets move on to the exciting world of Residential Rental Real Estate!

If their is something that a man has a relationship with that generally can’t be taken away its his relationship to his work. If he is not working its about what he could or should do next. Today we have as many women in the work force as we do men however that cant take away from the fact that the man feels an inate need to have a career.

Many friends and clients of mine are hard working women that give the impressions that their work is very important and it might be important to the extent it take cares of her core  needs but after that their is usually a general disengagement. Its even more of a dis-attachment is she is a mother knowing her family comes first. I also know many women who are passionate about what they do and wouldn’t want to do anything else. I guess what I’m saying is that the journey in relationship to it is not completely the same.

Men approach things a little different. Work is a big part of life and until they either save enough money to not need to work or have a pension and social security to draw upon they do not see an end in sight. The primal understanding that it is righteous to leave your children a financial gift, “usually their home” keeps added pressure on him especially in the more formative adult years (25-35) while he is trying to sow his seeds.

As a good friend of mind told me once around a campfire, “When a man can’t provide for his family all bets are off”

When you venture out into the world of small business and you leave the W-2 paystub world this is a major mental hurdle. My experience with successful and not so successful entreprenuers is this. ” The feeling of financial insecurity is the same for people down to their last dollar as it is for a person with enough to purchase more than most. What this tells me is, their is always going to be a battle surrounding work.

One example is the man taking care of the family trust. One gentleman I conversed with was “worth” in excess of 5 million dollars, that’s only what I knew he had because we never know exactly what one is worth. I would like to add that no one is “worth” anything that has to do with money. Each persons value is equal in humanity.

He stuggled deeply, he felt so responsible to have to manage this money for the family. The rich man in general can’t help but being deeply tied up to his money. He did not know what to do with it and like all was scared to lose it. I learned being able to purchase anything that I wanted was not what it was all cracked up to be. He however was fortunate enough to be able to raise his children with a large nest egg at his disposal. I remember him telling me that he would tell his son when he was young boy, “Do what you love and make them pay you well for it” You can better deal with your work when its a labor of love, it  keeps one from dreaming of retirement at an early age.

No one can perform a task over a long period of time well if they do not love to do it.


No matter who the president is, no one side  can win. We are becoming a generation that is black or white when it used to be that the best information was found in the gray areas. However, one thing is being addressed that no one would believe could have been address by any other political figure head we’ve had in office since John F. Kennedy.

Our News

We are on the brink (if we are smart) as a nation to demand our media do more of a job reporting than just carry out their individual corporate agendas. News outlets conservative and democratic are dis-attached from well rounded view about news.

As a country that just finished enduring the most pathetic of political debates this century, how much of our angst and anxiety about the leaders and the future leaders of our country, hang on the breaking news coverage of the Corporate Cable Conglomerates. Ultimately, its corporate America feeding our minds and fears however they see fit all in the name of improving their ratings. They apply no sense of balance in news worthy opinions. It’s too painful for either side to agree.

The United States might be the only civilized culture that’s media is willing to compromise the security of its country to get out a story. Under the First Amendment not all speech is protected. Commercial Speech is an area of the First Amendment that is less protected such as advertisements that are completely misleading they can be prohibited entirely.

Who is doing what

See, we the people, meaning the enlightened human being, were under the impression that news media was a control of the government. The political news of the country such as security and intelligence is relayed by someone. Correct? Who gets the news about strategic US decisions and why is it public information? We are finding out that we’re wrong. News is not as government run as the hippies thought it was. Problem lies in the fact that it’s worse, it’s run by Corporate America a faceless coward.

We are playing this game of “dumb and dumber”. Americans cant get an objective story because in all honesty we hate each others differentiating opinions and views.  Racism as we know it is not the pressing problem The problem is Democratic and Republican and all the ideology surrounding what it means to one or the other. A Republican in the eyes of a Democrat is a red-neck uneducated, anti-choice, anti gay and lesbian capitalist while a Democratic to a Republican is a big government, liberal baby killing socialist minority lover who wants men to be able to use womens’ bathrooms. It’s no wonder their is so much hate. How can anyone sit down at a table and have a decent conversation, work together to better improve society and culture or live out Martin Luther King’s “American dream.”

Fixing the problem

When we look around the country our infrastructure is old, the political system is old and no one is there to do anything about it. We need help. We need the media to actually work, listen to people, report the issues surrounding the country not air puppets with one hour shows entertaining their followers within the political party. We are over that. A journalist is supposed to get out into the community, engage humanity and tell the story. Journalism should do a better job bringing people together instead it’s tearing us apart.

The innocent days of communication

Remember the game we all played in kindergarten. You leaned over to little Susie while giggling on the inside, you told her the information that Johnny just told you. Now go back to that moment. You are sitting Indian style waiting to here whats going to be told to you. In a split second you are about to receive the message in your ear, you know its going to be good. Here it comes! Got it! From the moment you here it to the moment you relay it something happens. We want to mix things up a bit. It’s devilish but its what kids do but now its what media does and what politicians always do. Dishonesty shows.

In business class we learned “Caveat Emptor” –  Let the buyer beware. Keep in mind when you read news articles and blogs from main stream media or even less main street media anybody can write anything. If you have a problem with this article that’s fine too it means I got my point across. Think freely on your own, gather information objectively, keep an eye out on the source of the information, battle test the content and let it go. Keep in mind very very few people know what is really going on. Chances are we are in the dark well.



Tax Group of San Diego
4025 Camino Del Rio S Ste 300
San Diego, CA. 92108

Tax Group of San Diego
100 E San Marcos Blvd Ste 400
San Marcos, CA. 92069


Today one of my really neat clients called me with a question about an IRA. First let me say, his son was a hot baseball prospect here in San Diego County. My clients son made it to the minor leagues. It’s pretty cool when you get a W-2 from the Atlanta Braves.

Anyway, the conversation went something like this.

“I have an IRA and I would like to cash a portion of the money out. Within my IRA I have a few stocks that are “dogs”. I lost X amount of dollars on these stocks so I thought I would cash them out along with a few stocks that made gains.”

Keep in mind here that this is not a traditional stock transaction. When stocks are in an IRA you cannot cancel out the “win” and “losses” the same way you can if they were just purchased as a stand alone stock. Let’s breakdown how a loss is handled in an IRA. Three factors need to be established:

“Basis” exists in the IRA

So what is basis? Basis for this purpose is “any money that you contributed to an IRA and did not receive an immediate tax benefit” When we contribute to an IRA we get the opportunity to deduct the amount off of our individual tax rate. In some instances this cannot be done due to one spouse or individual who is involved in a retirement plan and over the income threshold.

Clear out all IRA’s

Any traditional IRA you might have, this also includes SEP’s and SIMPLE’s that are set up as an IRA must be completely liquidated to realize a loss you had in an IRA. Again, you must have “basis” stated above first for consideration.

Loss is an Itemized deduction

So let’s say both criteria are met. You have basis in  your IRA and you are liquidating all of your IRA’s. Now we can take the loss right? Well, not so fast. An IRA loss is subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit that applies to certain miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A, Form 1040. For one thing, you need to clear the 2% of AGI before realizing loss but even still you need to itemize vs the standard deduction on your return. If you do not itemize you will not be able to take the IRA loss. If you can take the IRA loss it will reduce your taxable income. Remember, it’s not a dollar for dollar “credit”.

Researching your investments

It would behoove you to take a look at your IRA contributions over the years and rub them against your tax returns. It’s a sure thing many people do not know if they actually have “basis” in their IRA. Whether you made money in an IRA or lost money in an IRA it might not be taxable. This is a research project that can be of high value to you. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but why a penny more?

Tax Group of San Diego
4025 Camino Del Rio S Ste 300
San Diego, CA 92108

Tax Group of San Diego
100 E San Marcos Blvd Ste 400
San Marcos, CA. 92069




So often we hear about the men and women who start small businesses. Whether they need to rent a space brick and mortar style, or create a room in their house with an  office and go virtual, the success and failure rate  is hard to determine.

Let’s say one spouse doesn’t need the money as much as the other because that spouse is bringing in the dough to support the family.  Unfortunately you don’t see too much of this in the under 40 crowd.  Heck, I don’t see too much of this in the under 50 crowd as well!  Let’s look at these folks as the “Hobby Entrepreneurs.”  It’s just too tough to get hard numbers of the success rate on this group and the sole proprietor set up.

I recently read an article that stated less people are venturing off into their own businesses today than those of 10 years ago. With the recent recession, it seems as though there is a broad fear that has swept the nation.

If you think about people you know, can you name a few people that went past this decade and started a business on their own?

From a broad economic and sociological stand point we must take a look the reasons why we are seeing less people leave their jobs to live the “dream.” First and fourmost we have lost a vast amount of industries over the last few decades. When was the last time you saw a mom and pop video store open or even a computer repair place?  The idea of renting retail space for a business is slowly going by the wayside unless you are a larger corporation or franchise.

Nowadays anyone can advertise as a small business on sites like Craigslist or your local Pennysaver.  It would be absurb to rent retail space in many instances.  Some businesses will never go away and seem to be thriving such as the restaurant and hospitality businesses.  Here in Southern California we have seen a rash of Microbrew Eateries jump onto the scene over the past 10 years.  Although were always told it’s the hardest business to succeed in, the entertainment/eatery business has a great chance to make it if you are delivering what the local population is looking for.

Getting back to my topic.  Why are we scared to barge into our bosses office and tell him to “take this job and shove it ?”  Well, let’s write down a number of factors as to why this is tougher to do today.

  1. The cost of living is much higher than it was in the 1990’s. Investors during the last real estate bubble took to individual housing like never before. The old way was “if you wanted to invest in real estate you went to the wrong side of town to purchase a 4 family home that needed some repair work.”  The possibility of capital gain on the unit was small but the tax difference along with the possibility of positive cash flow was attainable. The 2008 way of real estate investing was with hedge funds purchasing foreclosures and short sale properties which were single family primary residences. If you take a look at California where much of this was done, there was a rebound in the real estate market by 2011. These percentage gains out performed much of the rest of the country.  Now, once again it’s very hard to own a home in more desirable parts of the country.
  2. Salaries are stagnant. I can remember my father telling me in the 90’s, “Son, I was making $700 a week delivering bread in the 70’s It’s hard to make that today.”  The old man said this 20 something years ago. Here we are well into the millennium and I still think this holds true.  We can take a survey around the country as to how many people can bring home (after taxes and health insurance which is somewhat of a tax now) 700 bucks a week.  My gut says it’s not as high of a percentage of American workers than it should be.
  3. Fear. This topic encompasses the last two points.  It cost so much to live and my salary is so low that it leaves me no money to save should I become unemployed.  Let’s say you have to send your kids off to college.  Starting a business with that weighing on your shoulders would keep anyone strapped to their seat at work.  If you are willing to go without “extras” in your life by living a very modest to meager lifestyle,  you could counter balance fear and attempt becoming a self starter.  The truth is, most people are into security even more so today with the unstable economic environment we live in.

There is an answer to all this.  Something else can be done. This something is in our control which can make (almost) everyone happier. Lower taxes. What more can be said? If you put more money back into everyone’s pockets then everyone has a better chance to accomplish their goals.  If government wants to regulate, then regulate salaries of government officials, overtime pay and frivolous spending.  With all of the obstacles that are faced in starting your own business,  at the least, they need give everyone a better chance to succeed.


In 1997 the deduction for student loan interest came back into play after being repealed in the mid-1980’s. It seems everyone knows someone that owes  six figures for their college education.

What makes this sad is  that even if they found their dream job within the field that they studied, the salary would not constitute the amount of money that they owe. When it comes to borrowing money its not so much the principle that makes it so hard to pay back but yet of course interest makes it disturbing to the borrower, especially when your first starting out in a career

What is the student loan interest deduction

Student loan interest is one of the  unsecured loans that you actually cannot walk away from.  It was less than a decade ago the Internal Revenue Service made a change to the student loan interest deduction. The former rules only allowed you to take the deduction within a certain time after  graduation. Under the current rules the deduction can be taken for an unlimited amount of time after graduation if you are paying interest. You can find the deduction on line 33 of the 1040, they call it an “above the line deduction” which reduces your adjusted gross income.

What can Washington do?

With all of the talk about tax reform, how about we look at things “one at a time”. We have quite a few credits that will actually give you money for somewhat no reason whatsoever. The child tax credit is the government giving away money for having children. Earned income credit is giving money  out to the poor. In one perspective, their is a social responsibility that was considered when these credit came about. Its nice to know the government will assist its citizens when they are in need however for some, their is an incentive to earn just enough and nothing more.

A reasonable solution

The student loan interest deduction  is not a credit its only a deduction. What if we told our children that we, as American taxpayers, are willing to foot the bill for the interest that our youth are paying? . Like the earned income credit, were the government can sometime give over $5000 to individuals depending on how many children they have and what  their income is (always worth a debate), we can give  graduating students the incentive to not be so frustrated when its time to payback their loans. The proposal would be to move the student loan interest deduction to a student loan interest credit. The credit would have phase outs  just like so many other credits and would balance compared to taking a deduction of the interest which only reduces taxable income.  In essence the interest you pay for student loan debt will be given back as a credit and not just a deduction, especially a deduction that might not benefit you.

Tax Group of San Diego
4025 Camino Del Rio S #300
San Diego, CA. 92108

Tax Group of San Diego
100 E San Marcos Blvd Ste#400
San Marcos, CA. 92069


One has to assume that in today’s environment, it is a little harder to start a business then let’s say in 2003. Back in the roaring 2000’s (2003-2007 more or less) it seemed like you could purchase a website and a Voice over IP and you were on your way. The real estate market was flourishing….. or so we thought.  Flipping houses was easier than flipping pancakes at IHOP.  I can remember a mortgage broker giving me a loan without needing my financial information.  They called it a “No Doc” loan.  Try that today.

As the World turns

Let’s spin forward 14 years to 2017. We can look at all the economic indicators we learned in college (Consumer Price Index, Product Price Index, GDP…… the list goes on) but what is happening on the ground floor? Well, we know a few things.

  1. Jobs are being consolidated. The value of your service might be shrinking. Today, its very easy to find a website designer or even an SEO person who charged twice as much for their service 5 years ago.
  2. You cannot just create jobs for the sake of creating jobs. Is a small business owner struggling just to make ends meet going to hire someone because its good for the country? Is corporate America going to stop farming their services overseas because they want to see Americans with jobs? Never happen (barring legislation).
  3. Uncertainty is high. Generally speaking,  people do not like uncertainty. Security is paramount. If you can find a job that pays well with matching 401K contributions or a  government pension, you’re on your way to a comfortable retirement.

How do you know starting a business is right for you?

With all of this said, why would someone be so pessimistic about business and the economy. Well, I’m really not. There is only one way anyone can become an entrepreneur and that is if all of these factors do not matter. The risk taker doesn’t care what the job market is doing or where the real estate market is going or even what their pension is going to look like at 65.

Breaking life down

Let’s say you’re 40 years old. You are smack-dab in the middle of life.  If we check the numbers, you have lived about half of your life on God’s green earth.  It just all seems to go so fast.  Are you worried about life and what it looks like at 70, 75 or 80? These are questions you need to ask yourself.  How many years do you think you have left here?

An individual should venture on their own for this one primary reason. You do not want to reach your golden years having regretted not taking a chance.  If you are reading this and are over 65 years of age ( I have at-least 100 clients over 65) the best things you can do is stay healthy, smile and do service to the people who need you.  It is not the wealthiest person in retirement who is the happiest, it’s the person whose finances have become a “moot point.”

Don’t start a business for money.  It’s so much more than that.

For all the Mark Zuckerbergs’ and Steve Jobs’ in the world there are  millions of people who trekked down the road of entrepreneurship only to find out this was tougher than originally expected.  My own story has its stange twist and turns.  I can remember a few years into having started my business, I hit a stumbling block.  That boulder was called “I’m broke.”

A good friend of mine said when help



In an earlier post I had mentioned my main reason for becoming an S-Corp. If you did not read that article please click here .  As a refresher, there is a tax advantage to becoming an S-Corp versus a sole proprietor or a C-Corp (however, there are some good advantages to becoming a C-Corp as well).

Unlike an LLC or C-Corporation the S-Corp can only have one type of stock.  Let’s say you decide to acquire a shareholder, however, you are the one that has taken on the liability of many of the bills and purchasing of assets. In a case like this you would need to be careful with an S-Corp, especially if you are trying to create a complex relationship with the other shareholder(s).

Let’s say we have an LLC and we have 3 members. In an LLC we use the word “members” instead of shareholders and I will show you why.  Johnny has $250,000 dollars to invest in his Sausage and Peppers food truck. (You can tell I’m Italian right :)). Johnny however, wants to motivate some hot dog guys from town so he calls Doug and Phil.  Now, Doug and Phil know a thing or two about relish and sauerkraut…… heck,  they were both born in Poland and have outstanding recipes.

Johnny brings these two valuable people into to the business. To give an incentive, Johnny tells them they can become members of the LLC.  Johnny…. in a roundabout way can create any type of arrangement he wants with his business partners by handing over a share of his business. However, if Johnny were to make them shareholders in his S-Corporation, there isn’t a  good and easy way to make them not part owners of the company.

If you want to bring on a business partner in an S-Corporation,  your choice of an individual should be rock solid. You also should have a clear understanding that they are a shareholder(owner) of the company and are entitled to a percentage as owner of the company.  It’s not easy to go into business with anybody.  It’s your business marriage.  Therefore, be even more mindful when doing so under a corporation especially and S-Corp.

Your average person can spend weeks and even months researching, investigating and analyzing the benefits of incorporating.  It’s almost like someone decided to create a perplexing process of getting information with regards to entity choices. So, what are your choices? You have the S-Corp, C-Corp, Sole Proprietorship, LLC and the Partnership. Today we are going to focus on the S-Corp. The other day I was on the phone with one of my favorite clients. Let’s call him Sal.  I really like Sal. He just turned 30 and is a very hard worker. I emphasize to him that he is a rare individual.  I say Sal is special because prior to 30 he has been in business for the past 5 years and that alone is a feat in itself.  Being in business and growing before 30 is not as common as we might think.

Sal calls me up and tells me that he really needs time to talk with me regarding:  “Should he go forward with moving his accounting over to the S-Corporation?” I knew I was in for a treat because Sal is smart. He does his homework.  Well, 2 hours later and a lot of back and forth we concluded that the S-Corp entity choice was right for him.

I was challenged that day and I decided to write this article.  The next time a client  calls me with regards to an S-Corp,  I will lead him to my article. Here are the  laymens terms on this topic.

As far as I can see, the absolute best reason to become an S-Corporation is that:  An individual can waive an amount near 50% of his net profit that is subject to Social Security and Medicare tax (FICA).  Now..listen carefully, this is not etched in stone. The percentage might be higher and might be lower depending on your role within the company. Let’s lay out some numbers.

If Sal makes $100,000 profit as a sole proprietor every single dime of that money is taxed at his income tax rate as well as the FICA tax.

If Sal was an S-Corp or taxed as an S-Corp (which an LLC can do, we can talk about that another day) he would have been able, depending on his role in the business to take $50,000 away from being taxed the FICA. The full amount is subject to federal income tax however, he does not pay payroll tax on the other 50%.

I caution small business owners about incorporating until they at least have 3 years in business especially if it is a low liability business. I have met too many people who started corporations prior to really having all that much business experience. The fees associated with incorparation, tax filing and here in California the “Franchise Fee” (this has nothing to do with a franchise) is way too much when you’re first starting out. The moral of the story is

Be Like Sal.