It is unclear if a current business tax rate can be raised or decreased, but a recent ballot measure has made it clear that an increase is needed. While COVID and the impending business license tax will likely hurt some businesses, the increase will not. However, the city should meet with a variety of businesses to determine what the best course of action is. A delay of 24 hours is a sufficient amount of time to collect input from all businesses.
South San Francisco is a city located about 25 miles north of Palo Alto. It was incorporated in 1908 and has approximately 4,100 active business tax accounts. It taxes businesses according to the number of employees, gross receipts, number of units, or a flat fee. The fee varies, but there is a minimum fee of $141 and a maximum tax of $1806.
The current business tax rate was set at 50 percent. It is regressive and varies by business category. Businesses with less than five employees would have to pay the lowest rate of 0.12 percent. Businesses with more than five employees would pay the highest tax rate of 7.8 percent, while businesses earning more than five million would be subject to the highest rate of seven percent. The ordinance passed on its first reading on Tuesday, and will be back for a second reading in June.
The tax rates for businesses vary by state. Corporations pay the highest rate of 21%. The highest tax bracket individuals pay the rate of 37%. This tax rate is a temporary one, and applies only to businesses with income over a certain threshold. It is important to understand that some states have other taxes on corporations, such as franchise and gross receipts taxes. Also, there are special rates for banks, insurance companies, and certain financial institutions.
In the city of East Palo Alto, taxes are based on gross receipts. Small businesses are not subject to the FUTA tax, but can pay as little as $7,000 on their payroll. There is a $72-processing fee to obtain a new business license. While these fees and taxes aren’t regulatory, they help the city in generating revenue. The current business tax rate schedule is available in the table below.
Whether or not your business uses the right structure can affect its tax liability. For instance, a corporation enjoys limited liability protection. Because it is separate legal entities, the owners are not personally liable for the debts and actions of the corporation. Using a corporation, then, is a smart way to structure your business. However, there are other options as well. One way to reduce your tax burden is to maximize your deductions. For example, a business can write off a substantial donation to a charitable organization. In this way, the business owner can shield at least two-fifths of the donation from taxes.