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Taxes on Business Income in Utah

Filed under State Taxes. Fact checked on February 13, 2013.

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Income tax on business income computed based upon corporate taxable net income is required in Utah. If you operate your business as a sole proprietorship or via a pass-throught entity, then you must report your business income on your personal tax return.

In Utah, 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.

Corporations Are Subject to Corporate Income Tax

Domestic corporations (corporations organized in Utah) and foreign corporations (corporations organized in a state other than Utah) are subject to a Utah income (franchise) tax. The regular corporate income tax is 5 percent of Utah taxable income with a minimum tax of $100.

A complementary direct corporate income tax applies to each nonexempt corporation that, while not doing business in Utah, derives income from sources within the state.

S Corporation Income Passes Through to Shareholders

If you meet the federal tax law requirements to operate as an S corporation, your business "passes through" its income to the shareholders. This means that your business will not pay any federal 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.

Utah extends this favorable tax treatment to state corporate income tax liability, and S corporations will not be subject to the corporate income tax.

Partnership Income Passes Through to Partners

If you operate your business as a partnership, your partnership will not be taxed on its net income. Instead, partners must include in their Utah taxable adjusted gross income their distributive share of partnership income.

LLC Taxation Follows Federal Election

Utah law recognizes businesses operating as limited liability companies (LLCs). Domestic and foreign LLCs in Utah are classified as either partnerships or corporations for Utah tax purposes. LLCs follow the federal rules on how they will be taxed. Accordingly, if your LLC is treated as a partnership on the federal level, then it will not be taxed on its net income. Instead, members must include in their Utah taxable adjusted gross income their distributive share of LLC income.

If a business is classified as an association taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, it will also be taxable as a corporation for Utah tax purposes.

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