Darryl L. DePriest is the seventh presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Chief Counsel for the Office of Advocacy.
Prior to joining the Small Business Administration Office of...
United States Small Business Administration
Office of Advocacy
Taxes and the Choice of Entity for Small Business
by George A. Plesko
1994, 93p. Completed by George A. Plesko, 52 Richards Avenue, Sharon, MA 02067, under contract no. SBA8037OA93.
The organization of business operations can be a difficult and complex task, requiring managers to understand not only their products and markets, but also numerous aspects of business law. The tax code adds another level of complexity to these business decisions.
The objective of this study was to examine the role taxes play in organizational decisions. Specifically, this study focused on the role of taxes in choosing between two different corporation entities-C corporations and S corporations-primarily explaining the tax rules surrounding S corporations. Recent legislative changes have made S corporations an increasingly important part of the corporate sector, particularly for small business. The advantage of an S corporation is that while a firm can retain nearly all of its nontax corporate characteristics, it is essentially exempted from the U.S. corporate income tax. Corporate income instead flows through directly to the shareholders, as in a partnership.
Scope and Methodology
This report provides an overview of the tax rules and tax considerations affecting corporations. In addition, the report examines accounting, economic, and legal research to identify a common set of personal and financial characteristics that should influence the choice of organizational form. Analysis of the financial structure of closely held firms provides information on whether the organizational choice is motivated by tax minimizing strategies, and the extent to which firms' management operations are affected by the tax code. Financial characteristics include employee compensation, benefits, book income, gross corporate tax payments, interest paid, and carryover tax attributes.
Demographic characteristics of the firm, including size, age and industry characteristics, also were analyzed. Legal requirements studied included such factors as number of shareholders, passive income, lastinfirstout (LIFO) inventories and state tax treatment.
Crosssectional data were used to test empirical models of the choice of corporate organization. Explanatory variables included various measures of the firm's accounting, demographic and legal characteristics.
The complete report is available from:
National Technical Information Service
U.S. Department of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22161
(703) 487-4639 (TDD)
Order Number: PB95239976
Cost: A06; A02 Microf.
*Last Modified 6-11-01