Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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The Business Taxes Your Wisconsin LLC Will Pay

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

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

How Your Wisconsin LLC Will Be Taxed

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

  1. Wisconsin LLC owners pay self-employment tax on business profits.

  2. Wisconsin LLC owners pay WI state tax on any profits, less state allowances or deductions.

  3. All LLC owners pay federal income tax on any profits, less federal allowances or deductions.

  4. Some WI LLCs pay Wisconsin sales tax on products.

  5. Employers pay payroll tax on any salaries they pay to employees.

  6. Employees pay federal, state 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 Wisconsin personal tax returns, and that’s where you will pay those taxes.

Wisconsin State Business Taxes: Sales Tax and State Income Tax

There are two main types of tax that you will pay to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue: Wisconsin state sales tax and Wisconsin state income tax. 

Wisconsin Business Tax Registration 

You will first need to obtain a Wisconsin tax ID number to pay taxes to the Department of Revenue. You can do that by registering for Wisconsin business tax

Wisconsin 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 WI Department of Revenue. Wisconsin sales tax is collected at the point of purchase. Wisconsin sales tax rates do vary depending on the region, county or city where you are located. You will typically need to collect Wisconsin sales tax on:

  • Tangible, personal property and goods that you sell like furniture, cars, electronics, appliances, books, raw materials, etc.

  • Certain services that your Wisconsin business might provide

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

Get details on the Wisconsin sales tax here.

Sales Tax Rates for Your Wisconsin LLC

Sales tax rates do vary between states, counties and cities. Typically, the state will set a base sales tax rate, then specific counties and cities may levy small additional sales tax amounts on top of that. 

Wisconsin State Tax on Your LLC Earnings

As a Wisconsin business owner, you will need to pay WI state tax on any money you pay to yourself. These earnings flow through to your personal tax return, which is where you will pay Wisconsin income tax. You will be taxed at the standard rates for Wisconsin state taxes, and you will also get to apply regular allowances and deductions. Any salaried employees will also need to pay personal Wisconsin state taxes.

The Wisconsin state tax rates vary from 4 percent to 7.65 percent, depending upon marital status and income.

Get details on the Wisconsin state tax rates here.

Federal Self-Employment and Income Taxes for Your Wisconsin LLC

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

Wisconsin LLC Federal Self-Employment Tax

All Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin business. The current self-employment tax rate is 15.3 percent.

You will be able to deduct your business expenses from your income when determining 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 $50,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $7,650.

  • On profits of $100,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $15,300.

  • 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin LLC self-employment tax through an S Corporation tax election.

Wisconsin LLC Federal Income Tax

You must also pay regular federal income tax on any earnings you take out of your Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 for Your Wisconsin LLC 

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

Employer Federal and State Tax Withholding for Your Wisconsin LLC

You may also choose to withhold federal and Wisconsin state 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 Wisconsin state income tax, your employees may need to file their own tax returns.

Wisconsin LLC 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.

Get more requirements from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website.

Other Taxes and Duties for Your Wisconsin LLC

Depending on the industry you are in, your Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin LLC

Most Wisconsin 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

  • Wisconsin state tax

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

FAQs on Wisconsin LLC Business Taxes

Does Wisconsin Have Sales Tax?

Yes. Wisconsin does have a sales tax, which may vary among cities and counties.

Does Wisconsin Have a State Tax?

Yes. Wisconsin does have a general 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 on your Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin?

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
$130 5 Business Days 1 Business Day

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: Annually

Due Date: Based on anniversary date

Domestic:  Jan 1 – Mar 31: Mar 31
Apr 1 – Jun 30: Jun 30
Jul 1 – Sep 30: Sep 30 
Oct 1 – Dec 31: Dec 31

Foreign: During first calendar quarter of each year following calendar year in the LLC becomes registered.

Filing Fee: $26

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