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By Jason Watson, CPA
Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2021
It’s July and your golf game is just as crummy as it was in May so you start focusing on your business. You talk to us, and we decide that the S corporation election is the way to go. We don’t go back to Q1 and Q2, and process late payroll events for those quarters. That is an unnecessary can of worms. We simply open payroll accounts for Q3, determine your reasonable salary for the year, compute your tax obligation through mock tax returns and planning, and chop it up for the remaining months.
For example, let’s say shareholder payroll is set to start on August 1 and continue each month. There are five payroll events left (August, September, October, November and December). As such, if your salary is $60,000 for the entire year, we will set up payroll to be $12,000 per month for the remaining months, and then $5,000 starting January of next year.
No, the IRS does not get alarmed when you start payroll in the middle of the year. No, they are not concerned about the lopsidedness of your payroll events. Yes, there might be some underpayment penalties if you haven’t made any estimated tax payments. But wait! The super cool thing about payroll is that a singular event on December 31 is considered to have been paid evenly throughout the year, including income taxes. Therefore, you should not incur underpayment penalties if your withholdings encompass your tax liabilities. Nice!
More on withholdings and tax liabilities in another chapter. Also, more on why a singular payroll event on December 31 is strongly discouraged (spoiler alert: humans are humans and spend money they don’t truly have… shocker, we know).
Taxpayer's Comprehensive Guide to LLCs and S Corps 2021-2022 Edition
This KB article is an excerpt from our 430-page book (some picture pages, but no scatch and sniff) which is available in paperback from Amazon, as an eBook for Kindle and as a PDF from ClickBank. We used to publish with iTunes and Nook, but keeping up with two different formats was brutal. You can cruise through these KB articles online, click on the fancy buttons below or visit our webpage which provides more information at-