Retained Earnings of an s corporation

Retained earning is that part of earning from the income which is left after the complete distribution of salaries and wages to the workers and employees. The earnings of any business company can be either in form of profit or loss. Or, you can say that it is either positive profit or negative profit. If the retained earning comes in the form of profit. Then, the company reinvest the profit back to the company for the growth purpose. Otherwise, they paid out the profits to the shareholders. In this blog, we are going to know about S corporation Retained Earnings.

S corporations divide the earning of dividends to the shareholders of a company which can be taxed at only the level of shareholder. Earnings are counted in retained earning accounts but, it is not taken as either profit or loss. The S corporation is not dependent on either the collecting earning taxes or the personal holding business tax.

The most important thing is that S cooperation can divide the earning only in two shareholder-level attributes. The one is stock basis and previously taxed income and second is two corporate level attributes – earnings and profits (E&P) and the accumulated adjustments account(AAA).

What is the Aim of S Corporation Distribution Rules?

S Corporation is generally a single level of taxation. When an income is generated in S corporation then it is distributed among the shareholder as retained earnings. Instead of not taxed at the entity level. When the income is subsequently distributed under the single level of taxation which is not taxed at the second time. Under the Sec. 1368, the distribution by the S corporation can generate three possible tax consequences to the recipient shareholder. The one is a taxable dividend, second is gain from the sale of the stock (which provides capital gain) and third one is tax-free reduction of the shareholder’s basis in the corporation’s stock. These all three are not mutually exclusive. Even a single distribution may result in two or all the three of these consequences.

The concept of double taxation is the hallmark of subchapter C. The income is taxed at the corporate level when a C corporation earns taxable income. And, the distribution is taxed to the shareholder as dividend. So that, the same dollar of corporation income earned is twice taxed. Once is at the entity level and second is shareholder level.

What is the Retained Earnings?

S corporations can divide their company profits to the shareholders of the company like other companies do. Also, the company can keep them as retained earnings as well or can do both. When the regular company pays the income taxes then they make decisions, an S corp does not pay taxes. The shareholder has to pay all the taxes for the company’s profit. And it does not matter to the shareholder what the company does with that profit. Then profits are distributed to the shareholder if the company distribution is not taxable income to the shareholder. Because they are paying income taxes already on the money. But if the company wants the profit as retained earnings then the shareholder still has to pay income taxes on the money.

Formula of Retained Earning and its calculation 

RE = BP+ Net Income (or Loss) – C – S


BP = Beginning Period RE

C = Cash dividends

S = Stock dividends

Basic Issue in the S corporation Retained Earnings

There might be more possibility that retained earnings can generate an issue for an S corporation. Whether or not the shareholder they get any profits as a cash distribution from the company. But they still have to get taxed on their percentage of the profits. It’s the company’s choice to take the profits as retained earnings for the company. Because, reinvesting the profits into the company is the best way for the growth of the company. The shareholder gives the taxes in dollars in the company. If the company has only some shareholders or, if you are the only shareholder of the company, all the investment involved in the business which is not any issue for the company.

Analysis of S corporation Retained Earnings

The current situation of the company can affect whether the S corporation status is right for any business or not. The S corp status can also be affected if paying taxes on profit is not received will be weighed against the tax advantages. And, the profit distributions are untaxed. If the shareholders and the tax advisers determine that S corp status is not satisfactory then, the company can terminate the status on its own.

Understand the term of Dividends and the Retained Earnings

The cash or stock are both the form distribution of dividends. And both can reduce the retained earnings. The reason for cash outflow is also the cash payment of dividends which is marked in the books and accounts as net reduction. While, stock dividends do not occur at the cash outflow. Because the stock payment transfers a part of retained earnings to common stock.

A well built company does not pay attention in giving dividends or they may pay a small amount of profit. Because they mainly focus on retained earnings and invest again in the company for finance activities like research and development.

Final Words:

How to know about a company’s success, you can see the details of utilizing the retained earnings which is called as Retained Earning to Market Value. This can be measured by a period of time(such as a couple of years) and assesses the stock price changes against the net profit obtained by the company.

We hope this blog will be helpful for understanding the term of retained earnings of s corporation. If you have any issue or to know about more information you can contact us at +1-818-850-7805.

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