Are LLC members subject to self-employment tax?
Abstract: Ambiguity in the tax code and regulations has led many limited liability company (LLC) members to take an aggressive position regarding self-employment (SE) tax. They claim that their distributive shares of LLC income — after deducting compensation for services in the form of guaranteed payments — aren’t subject to the tax. Recently, however, the IRS has been cracking down on LLC members it claims have underreported SE taxes. This article provides a definition of SE taxes and examines whether LLC members must pay SE tax. A sidebar notes proposed regulations that contemplate situations in which an active LLC member can exclude certain amounts from self-employment income.