S corporation payments: Salary or distributions?
Abstract: Many dealerships elect to be S corporations because these legal structures offer the best of both worlds. Like C corporations, S corporations limit the dealer-owners’ liability. But S corporation dealership income flows through to the owners’ personal tax returns, as in a partnership. So, S corporations allow owners to escape the double federal taxation that burdens C corporations. This article explains why it matters and what factors to consider in deciding what to allocate to owners compensation — along with components the IRS considers in determining reasonable compensation.