The C Corporation is Back in Style!

This post is in: Business, Foreign Investors


Prior to 1986, if you had a business you most likely had a C Corporation. That all changed in 1986 thanks to the 1986 Tax Reform Act. I remember hovering around the fax machine, waiting for this new law to come out… right at Christmas vacation time. The tax department (at the big CPA firm I worked at) divided up the law and went home to decipher it and report back.

That was when I had to get up to speed fast on what an S Corporation was. Looked like everybody would be using those for business after 1986.

And time marched on…. Up until right now, we still use C Corporations, but only in very specific cases and for a limited number of reasons.

That’s all changing this year. The C Corporation is coming back in style as personal income tax raise, new surtaxes get assessed and even (dare we hope?) a possible reduction of the C Corporation tax rate.

When you should use a C Corporation:

  • Your business is making over $200,000 per year. This number will drop as the income tax rates go up. It’s possible the C Corporation may be needed at an even earlier time.
  • You have a lot of medical expenses or medical insurance costs. The C Corp provides better deductions for owner/employee benefits.
  • You are going public.
  • One or more of the shareholders are foreign, non-resident owners.

In my next few blogs, we’re going to talk about some of the traps of C Corporations you want to avoid.


  1. Mark bravo says:

    I don’t see why you can’t use a c-corp before you make 200000. As long as you pay yourself less money and all the write offs as possible

  2. Megan Hughes says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your email. You can certainly use a C Corp at any time, but it’s more tax efficient when your income tops $200k+ That’s because at the top personal tax bracket you’re actually better off, tax-wise, with the C Corp tax rates, even though there’s a double-tax on the dividends you pay out to yourself.

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