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  • Writer's pictureRyan Poirier

What S-Corp Owners need to do before the end of the year

Understanding tax deductions can be a challenging task for many S-corporation (S-corp) owners. One area that often confuses is the deduction of health insurance premiums. As a business owner, it's crucial to know not just what you can deduct but also how to do it correctly to avoid costly mistakes and maximize your tax benefits.

1. Understanding Deductible Business Expenses:

The tax code allows business owners to deduct ordinary and necessary expenses of running a business. This includes a range of costs, from office supplies to employee salaries. However, when it comes to personal benefits like health insurance, things get a bit more complex.

2. The S-Corp Health Insurance Tax Rule Explained:

As an owner of an S-corp who holds more than a 2% share, it's essential to understand that the health insurance premiums paid by your business are considered compensation to you. While this might initially seem like a disadvantage, it actually opens up a valuable tax deduction opportunity.

3. Step-by-Step Guide to Deducting Health Insurance Premiums:

Step 1: Have the S-Corp Pay for Health Insurance Premiums

Ensure that your S-corp pays for the health insurance premiums directly. This allows your business to claim a deduction for these payments. If the insurance plan isn't in the name of the S-corp, the company should still pay the premiums.

Step 2: Include Premiums in Reasonable Compensation

Including these premiums as part of your reasonable compensation can lower your taxes. This is because you won't have to pay FICA taxes on these premiums. Additionally, the salary portion of your reasonable compensation is effectively reduced by the amount of the premiums, lowering your taxable income.

Step 3: Report Premiums on Your W-2

Both your salary and the health insurance premiums must be reported in Box 1 of your W-2 form. This step is crucial for compliance and for facilitating the deduction process.

Step 4: Deduct the Premiums on Your Personal Tax Return

On Schedule 1 of your 1040 tax return, you can take the self-employed health insurance deduction for the amount of the premiums. This step is where you can finally realize the tax benefits of including the premiums in your income.

Dealing with health insurance premiums for an S-corp can be complex, but with proper planning and understanding, it can lead to significant tax savings. As the year-end approaches, it's a good time to review your situation and ensure that your payroll provider includes your health insurance premiums on your W2. Stay informed and consult with a tax professional to ensure you're making the most of your deductions.

For more insights into tax-saving strategies and understanding your business finances, schedule some time for us to chat here:

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