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How Your LLC Will Be Taxed
In this guide, we’ll cover the main business taxes required in Arkansas, including payroll, self-employment, and federal taxes. The profits of an LLC aren’t taxed at the business level like C Corporations. Instead, they're as follows:
- Owners pay self-employment tax on business profits.
- Owners pay state income tax on any profits, minus state allowances or deductions.
- Owners pay federal income tax on any profits, minus federal allowances or deductions.
- Employers pay payroll tax on any wages they pay to employees.
- Employees pay state and federal taxes on their earnings.
Items one, two, and three fall under pass-through taxation for any LLC owners, managers, or members who receive profits from the business. Profits are reported on federal and state personal tax returns.
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State Taxes for LLCs
There are two types of state tax you might have to pay to your state Department of Finance and Administration: Arkansas state income tax, and Arkansas state sales tax.
Arkansas Income Tax
As a business owner, you typically need to pay income tax on any money you pay yourself. These earnings flow through to your personal tax return. You’ll be taxed at Arkansas's standard rates, and you’ll also be able to apply regular allowances and deductions.
Any employees will also need to pay state income tax. The income tax rates are graduated, with rates ranging from 0% to 5.9%, depending on earnings.
You'll typically need to collect Arkansas sales tax on:
- Tangible, personal property and goods that you sell like furniture, cars, electronics, appliances, books, raw materials, etc.
- Certain services your business might provide.
Most states do not levy sales tax or gross receipts tax on goods that are considered necessities, like food, medications, clothing, or gas. Check with the Arkansas Department of Revenue to confirm whether your business is required to collect Arkansas sales tax.
Arkansas Franchise Tax
The state of Arkansas levies a franchise tax on corporations for the privilege of doing business in the State of Arkansas. The franchise tax is due annually as long as the corporation remains incorporated, domesticated, or continues to do business in Arkansas.
All corporations, associations, or entities doing business, earning income, or existing in Arkansas are required to file an annual franchise tax report with the Secretary of State. This tax used to be payable to the Department of Finance and Administration, but has recently been turned over to the Arkansas SOS. Every corporation, domesticated or qualified to do business in Arkansas must file a return even if the corporation is inactive or not engaged in business. The minimum annual franchise tax requirement for LLCs is $155.
Federal Taxes for LLCs
As the owner of an LLC, you must pay self-employment tax and federal income tax, both of which are levied as “pass-through taxation."
Federal taxes can be complicated, so speak to your accountant or professional tax preparer to ensure that your Arkansas LLC is paying the correct amount.
Federal Self-Employment Tax
All members or managers who take profits out of the LLC must pay self-employment tax. This tax is administered by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and covers Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits. The current self-employment tax rate is 15.3%.
You’ll be able to deduct some of your business expenses from your income when calculating how much self-employment tax you owe.
Here are some examples of how much self-employment tax you may need to pay, depending on your earnings:
- On profits of $23,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $3,519.
- On profits of $43,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $6,579.
- On profits of $63,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $9,639.
- On profits of $93,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $14,229.
Pay Less Self-Employment Tax by Treating Your LLC As an S Corporation
The Internal Revenue Service allows an LLC to be treated as an S Corporation for tax purposes, provided your business meets certain requirements. This can help you reduce the amount of self-employment tax you pay by allowing you to declare some of your income as salary and other income as distributions or withdrawals.
Speak to your accountant or professional tax preparer for more information on reducing your LLC self-employment tax through an S Corporation tax election.
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Federal Income Tax
You must also pay regular federal income tax on any earnings you take out of your Arkansas LLC. The amount of income tax you pay depends on your earnings, current income tax bracket, deductions, and filing status.
You only pay federal income tax on profits you take out of the business, less certain deductions and allowances. This includes your tax-free amount, plus business expenses and other deductions for areas such as healthcare and some retirement plans.
Speak to your accountant for more information.
Employee and Employer Taxes
If you pay employees, there are some slightly different tax implications. Speak to your accountant to get clear guidance for your unique situation.
Employer Payroll Tax Withholding
All employers are required to withhold federal taxes from their employee's wages. You’ll withhold 7.65% of their taxable wages, and your employees will also be responsible for 7.65%, adding up to the current federal tax rate of 15.3%.
Speak to your accountant for more information.
Employees May Need to File Tax Returns
Regardless of whether you withhold federal and state income tax, your employees may need to file their own tax returns.
Employee Insurance and Other Requirements
You may also need to pay insurance for any employees, such as employee compensation insurance or unemployment tax.
Other Taxes and Duties
Depending on your industry, you may be liable for certain other taxes and duties. For example, if you sell gasoline, you may need to pay a tax on any fuel you sell. Likewise, if you import or export goods, you may need to pay certain duties.
Speak to your accountant about any other taxes or duties you may need to withhold or pay.
Most LLCs must pay estimated taxes throughout the year, depending on the amount of profit and income you expect to make. The most common types of estimated tax are:
- Federal income tax
- Federal self-employment tax
- State income tax
Most LLCs will pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis. Learn more on the IRS website, and speak to your accountant for more information.
FAQs on Arkansas Business Taxes
Does Arkansas Have a Sales Tax?
Yes, Arkansas has a statewide sales tax of 6.5% with a combined sales tax of up to 11.5%. You can read more about it above.
Does Arkansas Have a State Income Tax?
Yes. Arkansas has a graduated income tax ranging from 0% to 5.9%. You can read more about it above.
Does Arkansas Have a Franchise Tax?
Yes, Arkansas levies a franchise tax on all corporations. You can read more about it above.
Do I Need to Pay Estimated Taxes?
Yes. In most cases, you must pay estimated taxes to the state and federal governments. You can find more information above.