Should I be an S-Corp for flipping?

3 Replies

Hello! We currently have three houses that we are in the process of flipping. I was wondering if I should file the form to make my LLC be taxed as an S-Corp? I see varying answers to this question. My main goal is to try to get out of paying the self employment tax. Any advice helps!

@Ben Hudman

You see various answers because one answer does not fit all - just like the raincoat on your avatar.

If you do not have other income like W2 jobs, if you're certain to make substantial profit after all business expenses, if you do not mind the extra hassles of running a separate company and a separate payroll - then yes, you will likely benefit from an S-corp that pays yourself a modest W2. 

But your mileage may vary.

@Ben Hudman

An S Corp can't get you out of paying SE taxes.  Only a C Corp can do that.  Although your effective tax rate will most likely be higher with a C Corp...AND you wouldn't be paying into SS.  Whether that matters to you or not is another issue.

An S Corp is designed to minimize SE taxes based on "reasonable compensation", which will vary for each and every taxpayer.  There is not a set percentage.

The decision is qualitative just as much as quantitative.  Some people don't want to deal with the extra tax return and run payroll for an S Corp vs a Disregarded Entity/Sole Prop, even when material tax savings is involved.

Good for a discussion with your tax pro.

If you're living life by the numbers, the optimal time to form an S-Corp is when the tax savings exceeds the additional expenses of having an S-Corp (payroll, tax prep, etc.) 

To know when that is you'd have to know how much your additional expenses will be and how much your tax savings will be. Getting those answers will likely require a sit-down with a tax pro who is familiar with the specifics of your situation. As @Michael Plaks said - one size does not fit all.