reasonable compensation

IRS Doubles Down on S Corporation Reasonable Compensation

What is “Reasonable Compensation?”

If your business is structured as an S corporation, not paying yourself an appropriate salary as an owner can torpedo your tax deductions, causing extra taxes and penalties.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

From 2018 to 2025, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is offering a 20 percent deduction on pass-through business income, with specific eligibility criteria. This deduction impacts the choice of entity. For instance, should you operate as a sole proprietorship or an S corporation?

The Importance of Reasonable Compensation

When operating your business as an S corporation, you must pay yourself “reasonable compensation.” Failing to do so can result in penalties, increased taxes, and missed deductions.

The Reasonable Compensation Balancing Act

Lowering salary. While reducing your salary might seem attractive to increase pass-through income and the Section 199A deduction, it risks IRS penalties and reduced benefits.

Increasing salary. Conversely, a higher salary increases payroll taxes and potentially reduces your Section 199A deduction.

Unique Situation: Zero Salary

In rare cases, you might not need the S corporation to pay you a salary (e.g., you do not actively provide services to your S corporation). This setup can maximize your pass-through income and Section 199A deduction, but it requires careful planning to ensure legality.

S Corporation versus Sole Proprietorship

Choosing between an S corporation and a sole proprietorship is a nuanced decision, impacted by the Section 199A deduction, payroll taxes, and reasonable compensation requirements. While S corporations can offer Social Security and Medicare tax savings, sole proprietorships benefit from a more straightforward tax structure and potentially higher Section 199A deductions under certain conditions.

Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners:

Ken Weinberg, Enrolled Agent and tax reduction specialist works with many clients who are landlords, residential and commercial property owners. If you plan to replace a building component, contact Ken-Mar Tax to ensure the best tax benefit, 440-777-2207.


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Small Business Tax Services

As an expert in small business tax services and tax consulting Ken-Mar Tax eats, sleeps and breathes small business tax strategies.  Being an enrolled agent allows founder, Ken Weinberg, to represent you to the IRS - something only a CPA, tax attorney and Enrolled Agent can do. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. It also means he is continuously being updated on the new IRS tax codes and taking classes from the IRS that provide guidance on how to file returns so that they are not "flagged."

When you get your taxes prepared by Ken Mar Tax you also have the option to purchase the Tax Audit Protection Plan to avoid the extra costs of paying for audit representation. If you are audited by the IRS, State of Ohio or local taxing authorities, Ken-Mar Tax will meet with the taxing authorities on your behalf to negotiate a settlement for you. The fee covers all costs up to the Appeals level, including up to 15 hours of correspondence with the auditing party – either the IRS, State of Ohio or locality.

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