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Taxes on Business Income in Indiana

Filed under State Taxes. Fact checked on May 24, 2012.

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Indiana assesses a corporate level tax and a personal income tax. (Indiana also imposes a franchise tax, but only on financial institutions.) If you operate a business in Indiana, then it is very likely that you and your business will be responsible for paying at least one of these taxes.

In Indiana, you're generally free to choose to operate your business as a C corporation, S corporation, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or sole proprietorship. However, the entity type you select for your business may, in some cases, decide whether you or your business pays income taxes on the business income.

C Corporations Are Subject to Corporate Tax

The Indiana corporate adjusted gross income tax rate was 8.5 percent for tax years ending before July 1, 2012. Indiana is reducing its corporate income tax according to the following schedule:

Time Period Tax Rate
Before July 1, 2012 8.5 percent
After June 30, 2012 but before July 1, 2013 8.0 percent
After June 30, 2013 but before July 1, 2014 7.5 percent
After June 30, 2014 but before July 1, 2015 7.0 percent
After June 30, 2015 6.5 percent

S Corporation Income is Taxable to Shareholders

If you meet the federal tax law requirements to operate as an S corporation, the IRS allows your business to "pass through" its income to the shareholders. This means that your business will not pay any IRS corporate level income tax. However, you'll have to claim your entire share of the business income on your personal federal income tax return even if you did not take any money out of the business.

Indiana extends this favorable tax treatment to S corporations. The income your S corporation makes will not be subject to a corporate level income tax. However, your corporation has to withhold tax on amounts paid to nonresidents.

Partnership Income Is Taxable to the Partners

If you operate your business as a partnership, there is no tax assessed on partnership income on the partnership level. Instead, partners must include their share of partnership income in their Indiana personal income tax returns.

Taxation of LLC Follows Federal Election

Indiana law recognizes businesses operating as limited liability companies (LLCs). The state treats an LLC exactly like a partnership for tax purposes if the IRS classifies the LLC as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, no income tax will be due on your LLC's net income at the entity level. However, if you elected to treat the LLC as a corporation for federal tax purposes, it will be treated as a corporation for Indiana tax purposes.

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