Reforming the Tax Treatment of S-Corporations and Limited Liability Companies Can Help States Finance Public Services

Source: Michael Mazerov, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 8, 2009

Nineteen states impose only nominal taxes on businesses organized as subchapter S Corporations (S-Corps) or Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) even though these entities — which generate about one-fourth of all business receipts — benefit from state services just as businesses that are subject to state corporate income taxes do. In addition, many of the states that do impose meaningful taxes on S-Corps and LLCs would benefit by updating their tax laws in this area, such as by equalizing their tax treatment of the two kinds of entities. By reforming their policies toward S-Corps and LLCs, states can strengthen their revenue systems to help deal with budget problems states now face.

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