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What Are the Tax Benefits of an LLC?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business formation that allows owners to avoid being held personally liable for a company’s debt, and it provides those owners some flexibility for lowering their business tax burden. The most significant tax advantage of an LLC is that you’re able to pass earnings through the company untaxed. You still have to pay individual income taxes, and if a business is structured as an LLC, those earnings are taxed as individual income by the government.

Read on to learn the full tax benefits of an LLC, as well as the potential tax disadvantages.

Tax advantages of an LLC

Here’s a rundown of the myriad tax advantages of operating as an LLC:

Pass-through income

One of the main reasons to structure your business as an LLC is so you can take advantage of pass-through business taxation. Instead of paying taxes twice on business revenue (first as business income and then as personal income), LLCs enable business owners to pass revenue through the business and report that income on their personal tax returns.

If your business is an LLC, it could be considered a “disregarded entity” by the IRS — a term that indicates that the IRS doesn’t levy taxes on the business itself. The pass-through tax loophole is a great way for owners of an LLC to reduce their tax burden.

Typically, both businesses and individuals are taxable entities; with pass-through taxation, the business is not considered a taxable entity and owners can avoid the corporate income tax.

While there may be some self-employment taxes for business owners, the savings from pass-through legislation are often enough of an incentive for LLCs to elect to be taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership.

Tax flexibility

One tax benefit of an LLC is that it offers members some options on how they choose to pay their taxes. Once an LLC is formed, owners, who are called members, must determine which federal tax classification they’d prefer for their business-related income:

  • Sole proprietorship: Single-member LLCs often choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, which enables them to pass income through the business. The LLC doesn’t have to pay any business taxes, as earnings and business-related deductions instead appear on the owner’s personal tax returns.
  • Partnership: Multimember LLCs cannot be taxed as a sole proprietorship. But if they choose to be taxed as a partnership, they can report their business income and each member can pass through their share of earnings on their personal tax returns.
  • S corporation: LLCs can elect to be taxed as an S corporation. They still don’t have to pay a business income tax, but members are taxed on their share of the profits. If a member works for the business, they must be paid a reasonable wage and deduct payroll taxes from that income.
  • C corporation: An LLC can choose to pay the corporate income tax and be treated as a corporation by the IRS. If profits are distributed as dividends, those dividends are then taxed twice. LLCs that are taxed as C corporations must also pay taxes on wages paid to LLC members who work for the business.

For people who operate an LLC as a lone member, that business is considered separate from its owner unless it elects to be a corporation. That’s a significant advantage for most business owners, as they can pass profits through the business to themselves and pay taxes based on their own income without having to pay an additional business income tax to the IRS.

An LLC with multiple members is automatically classified as a partnership by the IRS for federal tax purposes unless its members affirmatively elect to be treated as a corporation. Businesses structured as an LLC partnership receive a 1065 partnership tax return form, but otherwise it works similarly to those run by a single member, as profits pass through the business and are allocated to the owners before taxes are levied on their net income.

There are some advantages to electing corporate taxation instead of using the pass-through income loophole to pay an LLC’s taxes as personal income. For example, the highest personal income tax rates are higher than the highest corporate tax rate. If someone’s LLC is extremely lucrative, they may pay a lower effective tax rate should they choose to be taxed as a corporation. LLCs that are taxed as corporations also don’t have to include all the profits from the business if they are not treated as pass-through entities.

Ultimately, business owners choose their LLC structure to limit their tax burden as much as possible. For most, that will mean treating the LLC as a pass-through entity and avoiding double taxation. But for some people with large businesses or unique circumstances, a tax expert may help determine that a corporate tax structure may be best for the LLC.

Business expense deductions

Like any other business, an LLC has the opportunity to write off certain expenses on their income taxes. If the LLC is considered a pass-through entity, those deductions can be claimed on a member’s personal income taxes. Usually these deductions are written off on a single year’s income tax return, but some larger expenses can be written off incrementally over the course of years — a process called depreciation.

Different businesses can write off vastly different types of expenses. A large retailer may have completely different write-offs than a comedian who operates his business as a sole proprietorship, for example. There are quite a few common types of deductions, though. LLCs can deduct expenses for renting office space, paying for insurance related to the business, payments to outside contractors and the cost of goods sold, among other things.

If an LLC chooses to be taxed as a corporation, they file an annual tax return on Form 1120 to report all income and business expense deductions. Partnerships require the LLC to report write-offs on Form 1065, and the write-offs are allocated proportionally like the income for members.

Tax disadvantages of an LLC

There are some tax disadvantages related to doing business as an LLC, though they’re often outweighed by the benefits. Avoiding double taxation on business and personal income with a pass-through LLC usually nets more in savings than it costs, but the downsides should be considered before starting a business as an LLC.

Self-employment taxes

Self-employment taxes may diminish the tax savings from pass-through income if the member has to pay a significant amount in FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. Those members may wind up paying more in taxes than an LLC that elects to be taxed as a corporation.

The current self-employment tax rate is 15.30% up to an annual threshold, and 2.90% above that threshold.

Profits must pass through

Another possible disadvantage of the pass-through LLC structure is that members have to immediately pass on their profits to their personal income tax.

Corporations can instead choose not to distribute all of its profits right away; since they don’t have to immediately recognize and distribute those profits, they may not always be taxed. Businesses that aren’t a pass-through LLC can retain their revenue and perhaps use some of it for capital investment, while pass-through businesses cannot.

Choosing how to structure your business

Before starting your business, it’s important to consider how you’ll structure it — whether you want to set up an LLC, and if you do, how you’d like to pay your taxes. Different types of businesses have different needs, but LLCs have some broad advantages, namely the pass-through tax loophole that enables owners to avoid paying taxes twice on business income.

Sometimes those advantages are outweighed by other considerations. For example, startups looking to raise funds quickly may choose to be taxed as a corporation, even if they are an LLC. In other cases, a partnership or sole proprietorship may make the most sense. A consultation with a tax professional or financial advisor before incorporating your business may help you determine the most sensible path to take.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.

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Illinois Tax Guide: Income, Estate and Property Taxes 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Illinois, commonly known as the Prairie State, has an average tax burden compared to other states. Overall, state and local income tax collections per capita rank Illinois 25th in comparison to other states, according to the Tax Foundation. Illinois charges a flat 4.95% individual income tax, up to an 11% sales tax depending on the locality and a 7% corporate net income tax.

If you need help navigating the ins and outs of Illinois state taxes, a financial advisor may be able to assist and help minimize your Illinois tax liability. Consider contacting one of the best financial advisors in Illinois for more information, and read on for more information on Illinois taxes.

Income tax in Illinois

The state of Illinois taxes all taxable income at a rate of 4.95%. A study by the Tax Foundation found the top individual income tax rate in Illinois fell roughly in the middle compared to all states across the U.S.

Illinois allows you to deduct exemptions for yourself and your spouse, and for qualifying dependents. You may be eligible for additional exemptions if you are over the age of 65 or legally blind. Illinois also offers tax credits you may qualify for to reduce the tax you owe.

To determine your state income tax due, you’ll need to calculate Illinois state-specific additions and subtractions, which differ from your federal income tax return. You can calculate this information on Illinois Schedule M.

Illinois state income tax bracket

Illinois income tax has a single tax bracket as listed below. All taxable income is taxed at this Illinois tax rate.

Illinois income tax rate

Taxable income

Tax rate


Corporate income tax in Illinois

C corporations face a 7% net income tax in the state of Illinois. They must also pay a personal property replacement tax of 2.5% of net income. The Tax Foundation found that Illinois has one of the highest combined corporate tax rates in the country.

Partnership and S corporations do not directly pay state income tax. Instead, the income from these business types flows through to the individual shareholders’ or partners’ state income tax returns. Partnerships and S corporations do have to pay a 1.50% personal property replacement tax.

LLCs are taxed based on their underlying business structure, such as a partnership, S corporation or C corporation.

Property tax in Illinois

Property tax in Illinois isn’t managed by the state, but is instead governed by the localities. In total, around 6,000 local government units impose a property tax. These units include municipalities, townships, schools, park districts, counties and more. The Tax Foundation found that Illinois’ property taxes are the second-highest in the nation, coming in at an average of 2.05% of the owner-occupied housing value.

Taxes are paid the year after the assessment is made. For example, taxes are paid in 2022 for 2021 assessments. For all counties except Cook County, the tax assessment level of a property is 33.33% of the property’s fair market value, though this does not include farmland or farm buildings. Property is assessed every four years, except in Cook County, where it is reassessed every three years.

You may qualify for the General Homestead Exemption, which reduces the equalized assessed value by up to $6,000. Some localities have different rules: For example, seniors ages 65 or older may be eligible for an additional exemption of up to $5,000 ($8,000 in Cook County). In addition, seniors with an income of $55,000 or less may defer property taxes, with an added 6% interest, until they sell their home.

Sales tax in Illinois

Sales tax impacts goods purchased in the state of Illinois, making these purchases more expensive for anyone buying items in the state. The Illinois state tax rate is 6.25% on general merchandise and 1% on qualifying foods, drugs and medical appliances.

In addition, localities may add their own sales taxes to this rate. Some localities, like Alexander County, do not add any sales tax. The highest-taxed localities, including some areas of Cook County, may add up to 4.75% — this brings the total sales tax in the highest-taxed localities to 11%. The total sales tax burden results in the seventh highest average sales tax in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.

Here are a few of the total sales tax rates in some Illinois cities:

Total local sales tax rates in major cities in Illinois
CitySales tax rate
Aurora, Ill.8.25%
Rockford, Ill.8.75%
Joliet, Ill.8.75%

Estate tax in Illinois

The state of Illinois charges an estate tax on estates over $4 million after adjusted taxable gifts are included. It is one of 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, that levies this tax.

The tax is paid by filling out Illinois Form 700. Note that proper estate planning may help you minimize the tax owed.

Below is the Illinois estate tax table, including tax rates, based on the adjusted taxable estate size.

Illinois estate tax rate
Adjusted taxable estate
At leastBut less thanAmount owed from brackets abovePlus percent owed on taxable estate in this bracket

Inheritance tax in Illinois

Illinois charges an estate tax, as mentioned above. It does not have a separate inheritance tax.

Other taxes in Illinois

Alcohol and tobacco tax

Illinois charges a liquor gallonage tax based on the alcohol content within a beverage. Rates are as follows:

  • $0.231 per gallon for beer or cider with alcoholic content 0.50% to 7%
  • $1.39 per gallon for liquor other than beer with alcoholic content 14% or less
  • $1.39 per gallon for liquor with alcoholic content greater than 14% and less than 20%
  • $8.55 per gallon for liquor with alcoholic content 20% or greater

The cigarette tax is $2.98 per package of 20 cigarettes. There is also a 36% tax on the price of wholesale tobacco products, a 30 cent tax per ounce on moist snuff tobacco products and a 15% tax on the wholesale price of electronic cigarette products.

Cannabis tax

Further, the state of Illinois also charges taxes on cannabis products:

  • 10% of purchase price for 35% or less THC level
  • 25% of purchase price for 35% or more THC level
  • 20% of purchase price for infused products

Gas tax

Gas taxes have increased in the state of Illinois as of July 1, 2021. Here are the current rates facing people that purchase these products in Illinois, effective through June 30, 2022.

Illinois fuel tax rates
Product taxedTax rate
Gasoline or gasohol$0.392 per gallon
Diesel fuel$0.467 per gallon
Liquified petroleum gas (LPG)$0.467 per gallon
Liquified natural gas (LNG)$0.467 per gallon
Compressed natural gas (CNG)$0.392 per gallon

Use tax

Illinois charges a use tax, which purchasers owe on taxable items for use in Illinois that they had not paid Illinois sales tax on before.

People that owe $600 or less of use tax over a year can pay the 6.25% use tax on general merchandise and 1% use tax on qualifying food, drugs and medical appliances on Form IL-1040, the state’s individual income tax form.

If you owe more than $600 of use tax, you’ll have to pay the tax faster — the use tax amount is due by the end of the month following the purchase. You’ll file the tax owed with Form ST-44, Illinois Use Tax Return.

Intangible tax

Illinois does not have an intangible tax.

Re-employment tax

Unemployment tax, Illinois’s version of the reemployment tax, is charged on a taxable wage base of $12,960 in 2021. Currently, the minimum base rate is 0.2% and the maximum base rate is 6.4%. The specific rate a business pays is based on an employer’s track record with unemployment. In addition, the state charges a fund building rate of 0.475%, which is added to the rates mentioned above for all employers.

FAQs about taxes in Illinois

The state of Illinois says the following people may have to file an Illinois tax return to determine if they need to pay Illinois state income taxes:

  • Illinois residents
  • Illinois residents who worked in Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan or Wisconsin
  • Retired Illinois residents
  • Part-year Illinois residents
  • Nonresidents that owe Illinois income tax or want to claim a refund
  • Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan or Wisconsin residents who worked in Illinois
  • Illinois residents claimed as a dependent on another person’s return
  • Surviving spouse or representative of a deceased taxpayer
  • Students
  • Non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. nationals
  • Those owed a tax refund

Illinois considers you a full-year state resident for income tax purposes if you were domiciled in Illinois for the entire year. This means that the place you live and intend to return to after temporarily being away from home is located in the state of Illinois.

You may be a part-year resident if you establish Illinois residency during the year or moved out of the state during the year. In this case, you’d be required to fill out a nonresident and part-year resident tax return.

Illinois state income tax returns are due at the same time as your federal income tax return. In 2021, the federal income tax return deadline was extended to May 17, 2021, and Illinois followed suit. In a typical year, Illinois state income tax returns are due on April 15 unless the date falls on a weekend or holiday.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.

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Florida Tax Guide: Income, Estate and Property Taxes 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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There’s a reason retirees and millionaires flock to Florida, besides the warm weather and miles of coastline: Florida has one of the lowest tax burdens of any state. The Sunshine State has no state income tax, average sales tax rates compared to other states and relatively low property taxes. Florida is able to fund government operations without levying a personal income tax or high property taxes largely because of revenue from sales taxes paid by tourists.

If you’re considering a move to Florida, a financial advisor can help you navigate the nuances of federal, state and local taxes. Check out our list of the best financial advisors in Florida if you need help finding one or read on to learn more about taxes in Florida.

Income tax in Florida

Florida does not have a state income tax for individuals.

Corporate income tax in Florida

Florida imposes a corporate income/franchise tax on all corporations (and LLCs that elect to be classified as a corporation for tax purposes) that conduct business, derive income or exist within the state.

From Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2021, the Florida tax rate is 4.458% of the corporation’s Florida net income. On Jan. 1, 2022, the corporate tax rate is scheduled to increase to 5.50%. However, even with the increase, Florida’s corporate tax rate will still be one of the lowest in the U.S.

Since Florida has no individual income tax, pass-through businesses (those structured as sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and S corporations) don’t pay Florida state income taxes on their profits.

Property tax in Florida

In Florida, property taxes are levied by counties, and rates vary by jurisdiction. According to the Tax Foundation’s 2020 analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average property tax rate (as a percentage of owner-occupied housing value) in Florida is 0.94%, putting Florida right in the middle to rank at No. 25 out of 50 for states with the highest residential property taxes.

The state has a few property tax exemptions and other benefits that can reduce property owners’ tax liability. These include:

  • Homestead exemption: The homestead exemption provides a $50,000 maximum exemption off the home’s value for a taxpayer’s permanent residence, or the permanent residence of their dependent. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, “[t]he first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000 applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000, and only to non-school taxes.” To apply for the homestead exemption, the property owner must complete an application, Form DR-501.
  • Save Our Homes Assessment Limitation: The Save Our Homes (SOH) Assessment Limitation caps the percentage by which a homeowner’s assessed property value can increase each year. After the first year a homeowner receives a homestead exemption and the assessor values their property, the assessment for each subsequent year cannot increase more than 3% or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — whichever is less.
  • Active duty military and veterans: Honorably discharged ex-servicemembers who are disabled to a degree of 10% or more can receive a $5,000 reduction in their property’s assessed value. Veterans with a service-related total and permanent disability, as well as those who use a wheelchair, may be able to receive a total exemption from ad valorem taxes on their homesteads. Those who are 65 or older may also be eligible for a discount on the assessed value of their property. Current and former service members may receive an exemption if they were deployed outside of the U.S. during the previous calendar year.
  • Exemptions for seniors: Florida homeowners age 65 or older may be eligible for an additional $50,000 homestead exemption on their permanent resident if their income falls below certain income limitations, or a total exemption if the value of their home is less than $250,000 and their income is below the limit. Each county or municipality decides whether to adopt these exemptions and sets its income limitations.

Sales tax in Florida

Most states in the U.S., including Florida, charge a statewide sales tax on the sale of products to consumers. Sales taxes typically help states pay for service like schools, roads and emergency response.

The Florida tax rate for general sales tax is 6%, with the following exceptions:

  • 4% on amusement machine receipts
  • 5.5% on the lease or license of commercial real property
  • 6.95% on electricity

Many Florida counties also assess their own sales tax on top of the statewide rate. Sixty-six of Florida’s 67 counties add a discretionary sales surtax to the state’s general sales tax, bringing the combined average state and local sales tax to 7.08%, according to the Tax Foundation. Citrus County is the only one that doesn’t tack a sales surtax onto the statewide sales tax.

Florida combined state and local sales tax by county
Tax rate
Indian River7.00%
Palm Beach7.00%
St. Johns6.50%
St. Lucie7.00%
Santa Rosa7.00%

Estate tax in Florida

Florida does not have a state-level estate tax. However, residents may still be subject to the federal estate tax depending on the size of the estate.

Inheritance tax in Florida

Florida does not have a state-level inheritance tax.

Other taxes in Florida

Alcohol and tobacco tax

The federal government and many states impose excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products to generate additional tax revenue and discourage consumption of these products.

In addition to general sales taxes, Florida taxes alcohol vendors for:

  • Beer: $0.48 per gallon
  • Cider: $0.89 per gallon
  • Wine:
    • $2.25 per gallon under 17.259% alcohol by volume (ABV)
    • $3.00 per gallon 17.259% or more ABV
    • $3.50 per gallon for natural sparkling
  • Liquor:
    • $2.25 per gallon under 17.259% ABV
    • $6.50 per gallon of liquor 17.259% – 55.78% ABV
    • $9.53 per gallon over 55.78% ABV

Florida also imposes an excise tax on the sale of cigarettes at $1.339 per pack and chewing tobacco and snuff at 85% of the wholesale price.

Gas tax

All 50 states and many counties impose a gas tax to help cover road construction and maintenance costs. In Florida, the average gas tax is $0.4229 per gallon, making it the eighth most expensive state in the U.S. for gas taxes.

Use tax

A use tax is a tax on the use or consumption of a taxable product or service on which no sales tax has been paid within the tax jurisdiction. For example, if a Florida resident purchases a car in Delaware (where there is no sales tax), they will need to pay a 6% use tax to the state of Florida when they register the car. They may also need to pay a discretionary surtax to their home county: Every Florida county (other than Citrus County) adds a surtax ranging from 0.5% to 1.5% to the statewide use tax.

Intangible tax

An intangible tax is paid for the privilege of owning, transferring or otherwise benefiting from intangible assets, such as brands or stocks. Florida levies a one-time tax on mortgages or liens on Florida real property.

The nonrecurring intangible tax is due when the mortgage or lien is filed or recorded in Florida. The rate is two mills, meaning it is calculated by multiplying the mortgage amount by 0.002.

Re-employment tax

Re-employment taxes — also known as unemployment taxes in some states — are a type of payroll tax designed to finance the cost of state unemployment benefits.

In Florida, new employers pay a re-employment tax of 2.70% on the first $7,000 of wages paid to each employee in a calendar year. After the employer has reported wages to the Florida Department of Revenue for 10 quarters, it is eligible for an experience rating based on its employment history. The minimum tax rate allowed under state law is 0.10%, and the maximum rate is 5.40%.

FAQs about taxes in Florida

No. Florida does not have a state income tax. However, residents will still have to file and pay federal income taxes if they meet the federal filing requirements.

Florida generally considers people to be residents when their “true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment is in Florida.” Some of the steps you can take to establish residency include filing a declaration of domicile, qualifying for the homestead exemption and registering to vote in the state.

Florida does not have a personal income tax. The due date for corporate income tax returns is based on the company’s fiscal year-end.

Corporate income tax returns are due the later of:

  • For years ending June 30, the due date is on or before the first day of the fourth month after the end of the tax year. For all other year endings, the due date is on or before the first day of the fifth month following the close of the tax year. As an example, a company with a fiscal year-end of Dec. 31, 2021 would need to file its Florida corporate income tax return by May 1, 2022.
  • The 15th day following the due date, without extension, for the filing of the corporation’s federal income tax return for the taxable year.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.