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Old 05-21-2008, 05:53 PM
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How to record self-payment

Hi! I'm new to the forum here! I've been a sole proprietor for about a year and a half and I'm now to the point where I'm able to start truly "paying myself" (above and beyond just pouring my earnings into new equipment, etc.). According to the IRS, as a sole proprietor I can draw whatever I need at whatever time may be appropriate. How do I record that though? In my records do I consider myself an employee and call this "wages" or "payroll" or what? Just call it a business expense and be done with it? I want to do everything properly...I'm a photographer and the only one being paid here, no partnerships, second shooters, etc. Can anyone help me?


p.s. I'm already aware of the self-employment tax and estimated payments...

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Old 05-31-2008, 04:58 PM
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How payments are treated to owners of an unincorporated business?

Being a Sole Proprietor means that you can draw a salary whenever you want and the accounting entry from your books is to Debit Distribution-Owner and Credit Cash.

All payments made are called draws and any contributions of investment into the business are called Capital Contribution. The draws or payments to the Owner are deducted from the Capital Accounts. Hence, all draws would reduce the Capital Account balances.

Now, your next question is whether or not these so called Draws are an expense to the Photography Business. The payments you make to yourself are not deductible as a Business expense, and as such the draws are not directly taxed to the owner as well.

The net income generated from the Photography business, which is an unincorporated business, however, is subject to the self-employment taxes on the owners personal tax return. Furthermore, the income is combined with other household income and also taxed at your regular income tax rate.

There would be a similar treatment for a partnership (LLC) entity but for a Corporation the payments paid to the owners are called Salaries and deductible to the Corporation, and payments paid to the owners are reported on a W-2 and included on the personal tax return of the respective owners of the Corporation.

I hope that this explanation helps you to better understand the accounting and tax treatment for payments made to the owner in form of either draws or salaries.

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