California Corporation
Advantages and Disadvantages

California Corporation Advantages and Disadvantages

California Corporation advantages and disadvantages - Articles of Incorporation must be drafted and submitted to the California Secretary of State, Corporations Division. Once articles of incorporation have been successfully filed, your California Corporation has been formed and this begins its existence as a California corporate entity.

Should I form a California Corporation?

A corporation, chartered by the state in which it is
headquartered, is considered by law to be a unique entity, separate and apart from those who own it. A corporation can be taxed; it can be sued; it can enter into contractual agreements. The owners of a corporation are its shareholders. The shareholders elect a board of directors to oversee the major policies and decisions. The corporation has a life of its own and does not dissolve when ownership changes.

Advantages and Disadvantages:
California Corporation

Advantages of a Corporation
  • Shareholders have limited liability for the corporation's debts or judgments against the corporations.
  • Generally, shareholders can only be held accountable for their investment in stock of the company. (Note however, that officers can be held personally liable for their actions, such as the failure to withhold and pay employment taxes.)
  • Corporations can raise additional funds through the sale of stock.
  • A corporation may deduct the cost of benefits it provides to officers and employees.
  • Can elect S Corporation status if certain requirements are met. This election enables company to be taxed similar to a partnership.
  • A corporation pays 15% federal income tax on taxable income up to $50,000; 25% tax on income from $50,001 - $75,000; 34% tax on income from $75,001 - $100,000; 39% tax on income from $100,001 - $335,000; and 34% tax on income over $335,000.
  • A sole proprietor who filed a federal income tax return under the status of married, filing jointly, would pay 15% federal income tax on taxable income up to $35,800; 28% tax on income from $35,801 to 86,500; and 31% tax on income over $86,501.

Disadvantages of a Corporation

  • The process of incorporation requires more time and money than other forms of organization.
  • Corporations are monitored by federal, state and some local agencies, and as a result may have more paperwork to comply with regulations.
  • Incorporating may result in higher overall taxes. Dividends paid to shareholders are not deductible form business income, thus this income can be taxed twice.

Federal Tax Forms for Regular or "C" Corporations

  • Form 1120 or 1120-A: Corporation Income Tax Return
  • Form 1120-W Estimated Tax for Corporation
  • Form 8109-B Deposit Coupon
  • Form 4625 Depreciation

California's 2012 Business Tax Climate Ranks 48th

California ranks 48th in the Tax Foundation's State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property. The ranks of neighboring states are as follows: Washington (7th), Oregon (13th), Arizona (27th), Nevada (3rd) and Hawaii (35th).

Tax Freedom Day Arrives on April 16 in California

Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. In 2011, California taxpayers work until April 16 to pay their total tax bill (ranked 6th highest nationally), 4 days later than national Tax Freedom Day (April 12).

California's Top Individual Income Tax Rate Is 4th Highest in the Nation

With seven brackets and a top rate of 10.55 percent for those earning over $1,000,000. California's individual income tax has the third-highest rate and one of the most highly progressive structures in the nation. In 2008, California's state-level individual income tax collections were $1,531 per person, which ranked 4th highest nationally. Since most small businesses are S Corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships, they pay their business taxes at the rates for individuals. That makes California's taxes on small businesses some of the most burdensome in the nation.

California's Corporate Income Tax Rate is the Highest in the West

Corporations looking to relocate, or even establish, a business in the West may shy away from California, as the state's 8.84% flat rate is the highest corporate tax rate in the West. Nationally, only 7 states have a higher top corporate tax rate than California. In 2008, state-level corporate tax collections (excluding local taxes) in California were $325 per capita, which ranked 6th highest nationally.

California's Sales Tax Rate Is Highest in the Nation

California levies an 8.25% general sales or use tax on consumers, which is the highest in the nation and above than the national median of 5.85%. Local governments are also permitted to levy another 1.5%. In 2007 combined state and local general and selective sales tax collections were $1,502 per person, which ranks 15th highest nationally. California's statewide gasoline tax stands at 46.6 cents per gallon and is the 2nd highest in the nation, while its cigarette tax stands at $0.87 per pack of twenty (31rst highest nationally). Additionally, California's general sales tax and various municipal sales taxes are levied on the sale of gasoline. The sales tax was adopted in 1933, the gasoline tax in 1923 and the cigarette tax in 1959.

Property Tax Collections Slightly Below Average

Despite Proposition 13, California ranks in the middle of the pack when the states are ranked on combined state/local property tax collections. Proposition 13 favors people who have owned the same property many years by only permitting re-evaluations at resale. As in most states, local governments in California collect far more in property taxes than the state does. California's localities collected $968.01 per capita in property taxes in fiscal year 2006, the latest year for which the Census Bureau has published state-by-state data. At the state level, California collected $62.59 per capita during FY 2006. That brought its combined state/local property taxes to $1,030.60 per capita, ranked 28th highest nationally.


Tax Foundation


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