C Corporation Business Owners are at Risk of Losing Millions

I lost huge money early in my career in not electing to switch my company from a Corporation to an S Corporation.  I don’t want you to make the same mistake.  Each year, the owners of C Corporations have an opportunity to switch their tax status with the IRS from C Corporation to S Corporation if they send in a simple election form by March 15.  The goal of this post is just to get you thinking.  Please triple-check everything and your individual circumstance with your tax advisers.  As most of you know, a limited liability company (LLC) also has the advantage of being a flow-through entity for tax purposes.  This post is primarily for C Corporation owners.
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Tax-Free Entities Supported by Greybull Stewardship

Paying two levels of tax on your business - Taxable Corporations vs Pass-Through BusinessesAre you still paying two-levels of tax on the income from your business? If your company is a profitable, cash-generating business, it is a large advantage to be organized as a flow-through entity for tax purposes (S Corporation or Limited Liability Company). As most of you know, this means the company does not pay income tax at the company level. Income tax is paid only by the business owners on their individual income tax returns. If your company is organized as a C Corporation, you pay tax at both the level of the company and again on any dividends.

Unfortunately, most venture capital and private equity investment funds require their investments to be C Corporations.  A rare exception is my investment partnership, Greybull Stewardship, that is structured purposely to invest in flow-through tax entities. In fact, we prefer flow-though tax entities.  This is also much better for the co-owners of our portfolio companies because they can receive tax-efficient income being generated each year as well as the long-term equity value created.  Many of our business co-owners prefer Greybull Stewardship for this and other reasons.

Comparable tax structures - Taxable Corporation vs Pass-Through BusinessThis month, the Wall Street Journal wrote a nice article about the increase in flow-through tax entities in the United States.  They write that over 60% of businesses with over $1 million in profit are structured as pass-through entities.  And, the WSJ writes that the percentage of U.S. corporations organized as nontaxable businesses has grown from about 24% in 1986 to about 69% as of 2008, according to the latest-available Internal Revenue Service data.


Share What You Want to Learn – Launching the Mason Myers Blog

“Teach what you want to learn” is a phrase that I like. For me, it captures the idea that teaching or sharing something with others helps the ideas sink into your own mind. It is with that thought that I am beginning the Mason Myers Blog.

I hope that you gain some nuggets that help you in your business, but I am also hoping that it helps me clarify my thinking and deepen my understanding of things as I write about them. Please share your insights, give me feedback, and help me improve as we embark on this journey together. For that, thank you in advance!

Mason Myers