How To File LLC Taxes In Wisconsin? (Simple Guide)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: November 7, 2023
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With nearly a decade of experience in tax law and business taxation, I have collaborated with legal experts to compile all the essential information required to simplify the intricate tax treatment of Wisconsin LLCs for you.

Whether you're navigating the intricacies of being a limited liability company, ensuring you pay taxes correctly, managing franchise tax obligations, or seeking assistance from a Wisconsin registered agent, I'm here to provide the guidance you need.

Quick Summary

  • Wisconsin LLCs default to pass-through taxation, with profits flowing to members who report them on personal tax returns.
  • LLCs in Wisconsin can be classified as Single-Member LLCs or Multi-Member LLCs, each with distinct tax treatment.
  • Elective options, such as S-Corp or C-Corp taxation, are available, but they come with specific requirements and considerations.

How Are LLCs Taxed in Wisconsin?

Reading documents for Wisconsin LLC tax

LLCs in Wisconsin are taxed based on the default categorization by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which classifies their tax status according to the number of members.

This classification is mirrored at the state level by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue [1].

State Taxes for Wisconsin LLCs

In Wisconsin, Single-Member LLCs typically don't file a state-level return, as the owner includes profits or losses in their personal state return.

Multi-Member LLCs may need to submit a Partnership return at the state level, with owners also reporting profits or losses in their personal state returns, and it's advisable to seek professional accounting assistance for state income tax preparation.

"Understanding the intricacies of Wisconsin LLC taxation is crucial for informed decision-making. Whether you choose a default or elective tax status, navigating the tax landscape is essential for your LLC's financial success."
- Mary Johnson, Certified Public Accountant at Johnson & Associates, LLC

1. Single-Member LLC

Documentation of Single Member LLC

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) categorizes all Single-Member LLCs as Disregarded Entities for tax purposes.

In practical terms, this means the IRS doesn't require the LLC to file its own separate federal income tax return.

Instead, the responsibility falls on the owner of the Single-Member LLC to file the return and fulfill the federal income tax obligations.

The ownership structure determines the manner in which the LLC handles federal income tax:

  • If an individual owns an LLC, it is taxed similarly to a Sole Proprietorship.
  • If another company owns the LLC, it is taxed as a branch or division of the parent company.

2. Multi-Member LLC

Checking Multi Member LLC documents

In cases where an LLC boasts two or more owners, it assumes the tax status of a Partnership.

To meet tax obligations, the LLC is required to file a 1065 Partnership Return and furnish LLC owners with a Schedule K-1.

These K-1 forms delineate each owner's proportionate share of profits, and this income "passes through" to the individual owners.

Subsequently, each owner is responsible for paying the associated income taxes on their personal income tax return (Form 1040).

3. LLCs Taxed as S-Corp

Your LLC has the option to apply for S-Corporation tax treatment by submitting Form 2553 to the IRS.

Electing S-Corporation status can offer cost-saving advantages in terms of self-employment taxes, especially for businesses with established profits.

4. LLCs Taxed as C-Corp

Your LLC has the option to apply for C-Corporation tax treatment by submitting Form 8832 to the IRS.

Choosing C-Corporation taxation for an LLC can provide cost advantages, especially in terms of healthcare fringe benefits, for larger employers.

Federal Taxes for Wisconsin LLCs

Comparing documents for Wisconsin LLC

As an LLC owner, you're responsible for self-employment tax and federal income tax, both categorized as "pass-through" income.

Federal tax matters can be intricate, so consulting with a qualified accountant or tax professional is advisable to ensure accurate payment for your Wisconsin LLC.

1. Federal Self-Employment Tax

Every member or manager who receives profits from the LLC is liable for self-employment tax, governed by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) [2].

This encompasses Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits, applying to all income withdrawals from your business. The current self-employment tax rate stands at 15.3 percent.

2. Federal Income Tax

You are obligated to pay standard federal income tax on the earnings you withdraw from your LLC. The exact amount hinges on your income, current tax bracket, deductions, and filing status.

Federal income tax is applicable solely to the profits you extract from the business after accounting for specific deductions and allowances, encompassing your tax-free portion, business expenses, and deductions in areas like healthcare and select retirement plans.

Other Taxes

Flipping a page on a clipboard for other taxes documents

The state of Wisconsin imposes supplementary taxes.

1. Wisconsin State Employer Taxes

Employers in Wisconsin are responsible for unemployment insurance and workers' compensation taxes:

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI) Tax - Tax rates vary from .12% to 12%, with a taxable wage base of $14,000. Detailed UI tax rates can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's website [3].
  • Workers' Compensation - Most businesses employing three or more workers are mandated to secure workers' compensation insurance. The state does not offer workers' compensation coverage; you must obtain it through a private insurance provider. Further information on purchasing Wisconsin workers' compensation can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's website.

2. Industry Taxes

Industry taxes, known as excise taxes, are levied by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue on businesses engaged in specific industries.

If your Wisconsin LLC operates in these industries, you'll be subject to additional taxes for services or items related to:

  • Alcohol
  • Beer
  • Liquor
  • Tobacco products
  • Fuel taxes
  • Alternate fuels
  • Aviation fuel
  • Biodiesel fuel
  • Motor Vehicle fuel
  • Petroleum Inspection fee

What is Tax-Deductible for an LLC in Wisconsin?

Comparing tax deductible for an LLC in Wisconsin

Tax-deductible expenses for an LLC in Wisconsin can include a wide range of business-related costs that are incurred to generate income and are considered ordinary and necessary for the operation of the business.

Some common tax-deductible expenses for Wisconsin LLCs may include:

1. Business Interest and Loan Payments

Interest on business loans or credit card debt used for business purposes may be deductible.

2. Professional Services

Fees paid to accountants, attorneys, consultants, and other professionals for services related to the business.

3. Advertising and Marketing

Costs associated with advertising campaigns, website development, and promotional materials.

4. Depreciation

The gradual reduction in value of assets like equipment, vehicles, and property can be deducted over time through depreciation.

5. Taxes and Licenses

State and local business taxes, licenses, and permits may be deductible.

6. Charitable Contributions

If your LLC makes charitable donations to qualified organizations, these contributions may be deductible.

7. Cost of Goods Sold

If your LLC sells products, you can deduct the cost of goods sold (COGS), including materials, labor, and overhead.

8. Health Insurance Premiums

If the LLC provides health insurance for its employees, the premiums paid may be deductible.

9. Retirement Plan Contributions

Contributions to retirement plans, such as a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA or a 401(k) plan, are generally tax-deductible.

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Is LLC Free in Wisconsin?

No, establishing an LLC in Wisconsin is not free. It incurs a fee of $130, which serves as the state filing cost for the Wisconsin Articles of Organization. If you choose to file this document online, it is submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Do You Need Help Filing Wisconsin LLC Taxes?

With nearly a decade of experience in tax law and business taxation, we're dedicated to simplifying Wisconsin LLC taxes, covering aspects like default tax statuses, elective options, federal tax obligations, industry-specific levies, and sales tax management.

By understanding these nuances, you can confidently navigate Wisconsin's tax landscape, ensuring that you make informed decisions for your LLC, whether it involves filing your annual report, complying with Wisconsin employer's obligations, obtaining a sales tax permit, or managing your personal tax return with the federal government.

For practical assistance and efficient tax management, consider exploring QuickBooks, as they can become your trusted resource for handling the Wisconsin LLC taxes with ease.

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