When an owner of a small business operation transfers money from the business bank account to their personal bank account the transaction is commonly referred to as a ‘Draw’. There are other terms but this is the traditional word used. The technical definition is: ‘A transfer of earnings from the business on behalf of the owner is referred to as a draw’.
Self-employment tax is a tax assessed to small business owners reporting their income via Schedule C or via a K-1 from a partnership or limited liability company. Self-employment tax has two underlying components, the Social Security and Medicare tax. The combined rate equals 15.3% except during 2010 and 2011 whereby Congress reduced the tax to 13.3% to support the economy.
In the normal taxpayer relationship with the Internal Revenue Service, the taxpayer is an employee and via withholding, taxes are paid the U.S. Government by the employer. Basically the employer pays the tax after each payroll run on behalf of all the employees and the corresponding mandated matching taxes (Social Security and Medicare). But in the small business world, this is not the normal relationship.
A long standing custom in the hair salon industry is owners of salons leasing out booths to hair stylists. If not properly documented and exercised appropriately, the owner opens the door for many legal issues. Booth rental has both legal and IRS compliance issues that need to be addressed. Booth rental is legal in many states but you must adhere to several contractual compliance requirements to completely separate your salon from the renter.
The highest prized benefit of owning your own business is independence. You rely on your skills and have to report to no one but yourself. This is the allure of becoming a real estate agent. Imagine, making a lot of money and working when you want to work. Very appealing to just about anyone, wouldn’t you say? Well, it is all hogwash!
Those small businesses using partnership or S-Corporation formats issue Form K-1 to the respective owners. When income is assigned to the owner and there is no corresponding cash related to that income, then this income is referred to as ‘Phantom Income’. In effect, it is assigned income for tax purposes without the corresponding cash to pay the tax liability.
Form 941 is the employer’s quarterly federal tax return. It reports how much federal income taxes were withheld; Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes that are due and how much was paid in deposits to the Internal Revenue Service. The report is filed every three months for each of the four calendar quarters.
Simply put, this is a tax on your net earnings from your small business operation. If you are unincorporated, you have to pay this tax. This includes those in partnership arrangements, and in any form of Limited Liability Company status. Why don’t corporations pay the tax? Actually they do, it’s just called a different name.