How Your LLC Will Be Taxed

In this guide, we’ll cover the main business taxes required in Kentucky, including self-employment, payroll, federal and sales tax. The profits of an LLC aren’t taxed at the business level like
C Corporations. Instead, taxes are as follows:

1

Owners pay self-employment tax on business profits.

2

Owners pay state income tax on any profits, minus state allowances or deductions.

3

Owners pay federal income tax on any profits, minus federal allowances or deductions.

4

Some LLCs pay Kentucky sales tax on products.

5

Employers pay payroll tax on any wages paid to employees.

6

Employees pay federal and state taxes on their earnings.

Items 1, 2 and 3 fall under pass-through taxation for any LLC owners, managers or members who receive profits from the business. Profits are reported on federal and state personal tax returns.

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State Taxes for LLCs

There are three main types of state tax you must pay to the Kentucky Department of Revenue: income, sales and franchise tax (actually called the Kentucky Limited Liability Entity Tax; more information below).

Kentucky Income Tax

As a business owner, you’ll need to pay Kentucky income tax on any money you pay to yourself. These earnings flow through to your personal tax return. You’ll be taxed at the standard rate for Kentucky, and you’ll be able to apply regular allowances and deductions.

Any employees you have will also need to pay Kentucky income tax.

The Kentucky income tax rate is a flat 5 percent.

Kentucky Sales Tax

If you sell physical products or certain types of services, you may need to collect sales tax and then pay it to the Kentucky Department of Revenue. Sales tax is collected at the point of purchase and is a flat 6 percent. There are no local sales taxes in Kentucky.

You’ll typically need to collect Kentucky sales tax on:

  • Tangible, personal property and goods that you sell, such as furniture, cars, electronics, appliances, books, raw materials, etc.
  • Services that your Kentucky business may provide

Most states don’t levy sales tax on goods that are considered necessities, such as food, medications, clothing or gas. Use our sales tax calculator to get an idea of how much you might need to pay, but also check with your accountant and the Department of Revenue to find out whether your business will be required to collect Kentucky sales tax, and to ensure you collect and pay the right amount.

Kentucky Franchise Tax

Some states levy a tax on certain businesses for the right to exist as a legal entity and do business in the state. It's often called a transaction privilege tax or a privilege tax. The Kentucky Limited Liability Entity Tax (KY LLET) serves the same purpose.

The tax is calculated using the lesser of $0.095/$100 of Kentucky gross receipts or $0.75/$100 of Kentucky gross profits. Regardless of which calculation method is used, business owners are required to pay a minimum Kentucky LLET of $175.

Federal Taxes for LLCs

As the owner of an LLC, you’re required to pay self-employment tax and federal income tax, both of which are levied as "pass-through taxation."

Federal taxes can be complicated, so speak to your accountant or professional tax preparer to ensure that your Kentucky LLC is paying the correct amount.

Federal Self-Employment Tax

All members or managers who take profits out of the LLC must pay self-employment tax. This tax is administered by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), and covers Social Security, Medicare and other benefits. The current self-employment tax rate is 15.3 percent.

You'll be able to deduct your business expenses from your income when calculating how much self-employment tax you owe.

Here are some examples of how much self-employment tax you may need to pay, depending on your earnings:

  • On profits of $30,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $4,590.
  • On profits of $60,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $9,180.
  • On profits of $90,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $13,770.
  • On profits of $120,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $18,360.

Pay Less Self-Employment Tax by Treating Your LLC as an S Corporation

The Internal Revenue Service allows an LLC to be treated as an
S Corporation for tax purposes, provided your business meets a few requirements. This can help you reduce the amount of self-employment tax you pay by allowing you to declare some of your income as salary and other income as distributions or withdrawals.

Speak to your accountant or professional tax preparer for more information.

Treating your LLC as an S Corp can help you save money.

You can do this by making an “S Corporation Tax Election” with the IRS using Form 2553. We can file your Form 2553 with the IRS on your behalf.

Federal Income Tax

You’re required to also pay regular federal income tax on any earnings you withdraw from your LLC. This amount depends on your earnings, current income tax bracket, deductions and filing status.

You only pay federal income tax on profits you take out of the business, minus certain deductions and allowances. This includes your tax-free amount, plus business expenses and other deductions in areas such as healthcare and some retirement plans.

Speak to your accountant for more information.

Employee and Employer Taxes

There are some slightly different tax implications if you pay employees. Speak to your accountant to get clear guidance for your unique situation.

Employer Payroll Tax Withholding

All employers are required to withhold federal taxes from their employees’ wages. You’ll withhold 7.65 percent of their taxable wages, and your employees are responsible for 7.65 percent, adding up to the current federal tax rate of 15.3 percent.

Speak to your accountant for more information.

Employees May Need to File Tax Returns

Your employees may need to file their own tax returns regardless of whether you withhold federal and state income tax.

Employee Insurance and Other Requirements

You may also be required to pay insurance for any employees, such as employee compensation insurance or unemployment tax.

Other Taxes and Duties

Depending on what industry you operate in, you may be responsible for certain other taxes and duties. For example, if you sell gasoline, you may need to pay a tax on any fuel you sell. Likewise, if you import or export goods, you may need to pay certain duties.

Speak to your accountant about any other taxes you may need to withhold or pay.

Estimated Taxes

Most LLCs must pay estimated taxes throughout the year, depending on the amount of profit and income you expect to make. The most common types of estimated tax are:

Federal income tax

Federal self-employment tax

Kentucky income tax

Most LLCs will pay estimated taxes four times a year. Learn more on the IRS website, and speak to your accountant for more information.

FAQs on Kentucky Business Taxes

Does Kentucky Have Sales Tax?

Yes. Kentucky does have a sales tax at a flat rate of 6 percent statewide. You can find more information above.

Does Kentucky Have a Franchise Tax?

Yes. Kentucky does have a franchise tax, but it's known as the Kentucky Limited Liability Entity Tax (also known as the Kentucky LLET). You can find more information above.

Does Kentucky Have a State Income Tax?

Yes. Kentucky does have a state income tax. You can find more information above.

Do I Need to Pay Estimated Taxes?

Yes. In most cases, you must pay estimated taxes to the state and federal governments. You can find more information above.

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