Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?


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Business Taxes Payable by Your Washington DC LLC

Business taxes are a fact of life, and your DC LLC will need to pay a variety of taxes to both the federal and local governments. We’ll cover all the main taxes in Washington DC, including self-employment, payroll, federal, Washington DC local tax and sales tax.

If you want help with your taxes, Incfile provides a complete Business Tax Filing service.

How Your DC LLC Will Be Taxed

The profits of an LLC are not taxed at the business level like those of C Corporations. Instead, taxes for an LLC work as follows:

  • LLC owners pay self-employment tax on business profits.
  • LLC owners pay DC local tax on any profits, less allowances or deductions.
  • All LLC owners pay federal income tax on any profits less federal allowances or deductions.
  • Some DC LLCs pay Washington DC sales tax on products.
  • Employers pay payroll tax on any salaries they pay to employees.
  • Employees pay federal, local and payroll tax on their earnings.

Items 1, 2 and 3 are taxed as “pass-through” income for any LLC owners, managers or members who receive profits from the business. Any profits are reported on federal and Washington DC personal tax returns, and that’s where you will pay those taxes.

Washington DC Income Tax

There are two main types of tax that you will pay to the Washington DC Office of Tax and Revenue: Washington DC income tax and Washington DC sales tax. As a Washington DC business owner, you will need to pay income tax on any money you pay to yourself. These earnings flow through to your personal tax return, which is where you will pay income tax. You will be taxed at the standard rates for Washington DC taxes, and you will also get to apply regular allowances and deductions.

Any salaried employees will also need to pay personal income taxes.

The Washington DC tax rates are between 4 and 8.95 percent, depending on your earnings.

Get details on the Washington DC income tax here.

Washington DC Sales Taxes on LLC Sales

If you sell physical products or certain types of services, you may need to collect sales tax (also known as sales and use tax) and then pay it to the DC Office of Tax and Revenue. Sales tax is collected at the point of purchase. Sales tax rates do vary depending on the region, county or city where you are located.

You will typically need to collect sales tax on:

  • Tangible, personal property and goods that you sell like furniture, cars, electronics, appliances, books, raw materials, etc.
  • Certain services that your Washington DC business might provide

Most areas do not levy sales tax on goods that are considered necessities, like food, medications, clothing or gas.

Get details on the Washington DC sales tax here.

Federal Self-Employment and Income Taxes for Your Washington DC LLC

There are a couple different federal taxes that every LLC will need to pay, including Washington DC LLCs. These are self-employment tax and federal income tax, which are taxed as “pass-through” income via your tax return forms.

Washington DC LLC Federal Self-Employment Tax

All Washington DC LLC business members or managers who take profits out of the LLC will need to pay self-employment tax. This tax is also known as FICA, Social Security or Medicare tax. It applies to all the earnings you withdraw from your business. The current self-employment tax rate is 15.3 percent.

You will be able to deduct your business expenses from your income when working out 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 $40,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $6,120.
  • On profits of $80,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $12,240.
  • On profits of $140,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $21,420.
  • On profits of $160,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $24,480.

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

The Internal Revenue Service allows LLCs to ask to be treated as an S Corporation for tax purposes. This can help you reduce the amount of self-employment tax that you pay by declaring some of your income as salary and other income as distributions or withdrawals.

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

Incfile Form 2553 S Corporation Tax Election for an LLC service

Speak to your accountant for more information on reducing your Washington DC LLC self-employment tax through an S Corporation tax election.

Washington DC LLC Federal Income Tax

You must also pay regular federal income tax on any earnings you take out of your LLC. The amount of income tax you pay depends on your earnings, current income tax brackets, deductions and how you file.

You only pay federal income tax on your LLC profits that you take out of the business, less certain deductions and allowances. This includes your tax-free amount, plus LLC business expenses and other deductions for areas such as healthcare and some retirement plans. Speak to your accountant for more information.

Employer and Employee Taxes for Your Washington DC LLC

If you pay employees, there are some slightly different tax implications. Speak to your accountant to get clear guidance for your own unique situation.

Employer Payroll Tax Withholding

All employers must collect and withhold payroll tax from their employees when they receive their salaries. You would normally withhold 7.65 percent of the taxable salary that you pay to your employees.

Employer Federal and Local Tax Withholding

You may also choose to withhold federal and Washington DC income tax on the wages you pay to employees. Speak to your accountant for more information.

Employees May Need to File Tax Returns

Regardless of whether you withhold federal and Washington DC income tax, your employees may need to file their own tax returns.

Employee Insurance and Other Requirements

You may also need to pay insurance for any employees, like employee compensation insurance or unemployment tax. There will also be other requirements you have for employees.

Other Taxes and Duties for Your Washington DC LLC

Depending on the industry you are in, your Washington DC LLC may be liable 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 for Your Washington DC LLC

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

  • Federal income tax
  • Federal self-employment tax
  • Washington DC local tax

Most LLCs will pay estimated taxes four times a year. Speak to your accountant for more information.

FAQs on Washington DC Business Taxes

Does Washington DC Have Sales Tax?

Yes, Washington DC does have a sales tax. You can find more information above.

Does Washington DC Have a Local Tax?

Yes, Washington DC does have a general income tax. You can find more information above.

What Is the Sales Tax Rate in Washington DC?

The sales tax rate in DC is 6 percent.

Do I Need to Pay Estimated Taxes?

Yes. In most cases you must pay estimated taxes on your Washington DC tax, federal income tax and self-employment tax. Speak to your accountant for more information.

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Washington Dc?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$220 3 Weeks 4 Business Days

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Biennially

Due Date: April 1st

Note: Starts with year after incorporation or qualification; then each second year thereafter.

Filing Fee: $300

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