S Corporation Definition- A corporation with 75 or fewer shareholders,that has elected and qualified for a special tax status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The main advantage associated with the S Corporation is that the income passes through to the shareholders, therefore avoiding a perceived double taxation of a C-Corporation.
New Hampshire S Corporation: Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of the S Corporation:
The independent life of the corporation makes possible its continuation, and the relatively undisturbed continued operation of the business regardless of incapacity or death of one or more stockholders.
Fractional ownership shares are easily accommodated in the initial offering of stock.
The purchase, sale, and gifting of stock make it possible to have changes in ownership without disturbing the corporation's ability to conduct business.
The requirement that the corporation's finances and records be separate from the finances and records of stockholders reduces the risk of unrecognized equity liquidations.
With only a few exceptions, under the Subchapter S election for taxation as a partnership the S corporation pays no income taxes and corporation income or loss is passed through direct to the stockholders.
To the extent the corporate shield is maintained and other investments and savings of the stockholders are not at risk, the personal life of stockholders is simplified.
The annual meetings of stockholders and consultations with legal counsel can provide stimulus for improved communication within the stockholder group (often a family group) and can provide more comprehensive guidance for management.
Depending on the corporation's business record and the policies and practices of prospective lenders, access to credit and the ability to secure needed resources may be improved.
Earnings representing "return on investment" (interest, rental payments, etc.) are not subject to self-employment tax as long as stockholder-employees receive adequate compensation for labor and management of the business.
Disadvantages of the S Corporation:
Lenders may require personal guarantees from corporate officers as a condition of supplying credit, thus negating the limitation of liability.
Conflicts or disagreements among the stockholders may immobilize decision making.
Restrictions on the sale of stock and/or buy-back agreements included in the bylaws may prevent minority stockholders from being able to recover the value of their investment in the corporation.
Through the processes of gifting and inheritance, stock ownership can become divided among many persons who are not active in the business and they may become a voting block that does not support needs and decisions believed desirable by managing stockholders.
Over time, corporation paid benefits for stockholder-employees may become costly and exceed the ability of the business to pay.
Employment benefits such as life insurance, health insurance, and housing costs are taxable income to stockholder employees with 2 percent or more stock ownership and to employees who are directly related to persons owning 2 percent or more of the corporation stock.
If appreciated assets are owned by the corporation and the corporation is dissolved, significant income taxes on the appreciation amount will be generated.
New Hampshire S Corp Advantages Disadvantages
New Hampshire's 2009 Business Tax Climate Ranks 8th
New Hampshire ranks 8th in the Nation's State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property. Neighboring states ranked as follows: Vermont (43rd), Maine (40th) and Massachusetts (32nd).
New Hampshire's Individual Income Tax System
New Hampshire's personal income tax system is one of the nation's most simple and inexpensive systems. With no separate tax brackets, New Hampshire's 5% flat income tax applies only to dividend and interest income. As a result many citizens have little or no income tax liability. New Hampshire's 2006 individual income tax collections were $62 per person, which ranked 42nd highest nationally.
New Hampshire's Corporate Income Tax System
New Hampshire's corporate tax structure consists of one bracket, with a rate of 8.5% of income for corporations with gross receipts over $50,000. Among states levying corporate income taxes, this top rate ranks the state 11th highest nationally. In 2007, state-level corporate tax collections (excluding local taxes) were $453 per capita, which ranked 2nd highest nationally.