Franchise taxes are state fees imposed upon businesses to cover the privilege of operating within that particular state. Details surrounding who pays them, how they calculate it and any additional details vary from state to state.
Building costs and improvements are generally depreciated over 39 years, but franchisees may realize tax savings through shorter depreciation lives through conducting a cost segregation study.
State and Local Taxes
State and local taxes can be an additional challenge for businesses, particularly when they’re just getting started. Franchisees usually must pay an initial franchise fee and may also have to file sales/property tax returns and file payroll tax returns.
Franchise fees may be calculated as a percentage of sales or income and paid regardless of profitability of the business, adding up quickly. Therefore, franchisees should consult an attorney and accountant prior to committing to any significant fees.
State taxes vary based on location and business structure. Franchisees should check with both their local and state tax authorities to learn about any specific tax requirements in their region, such as Texas where franchises are taxed based on their margin, which is defined as total income minus compensation expenses and costs associated with running their company; low corporate taxes further enhance Texas’ economic strength.
Bottom line: Franchise taxes are state business taxes levied against businesses regardless of any profits generated, regardless of who pays or when. Each state may levy these fees differently; payment details, charges and due dates vary significantly among states.
First step to determining franchise taxes due from businesses is identifying whether they have nexus in any given state. Nexus refers to how much contact a company has with an area; such contact could include sales, purchases from vendors or payroll.
Failing to file franchise tax reports on time can result in fines and back taxes that could add up quickly, so many states offer electronic filing methods as a convenient means for both parties involved. Deadlines vary so be sure to visit your state’s website regularly; some also require companies to report their net worth which can be calculated through various means.
Franchise tax is a state-level levy on businesses registered or operating within one or more specific states, similar to income tax which imposes a fee on profits earned within that state. Rates and who must pay these fees differ by state.
Typically, only larger corporations are subject to franchise taxes in some states; however, exceptions may exist in specific instances. To ascertain your company’s obligation in one of these jurisdictions, take a careful look at their regulations as well as consult an accountant or other qualified financial expert.
Along with franchise taxes, you should also consider other expenses related to running your business. These could include home office deductions (only available to qualifying owners), utility expenses and repairs, interest on mortgages or real estate costs etc. Being aware of eligible deductions makes tax season more exciting for small business owners and franchisees.
Franchise businesses offer businesses a preexisting brand, processes and plans. While launching one may appear simple at first, opening one requires additional expenses such as paying the franchise fee, finding commercial space to lease and hiring staff members. Franchise taxes (known as privilege taxes in some states) also vary by state depending upon which businesses must pay and their required rates – filing requirements differ and deadlines differ accordingly.
Good news for franchise and small business owners when filing taxes: there are plenty of eligible deductions they can take advantage of when filing. With our help and expertise in business taxation, tax season can become one of the most exciting times of year! At NerdWallet we can assist with navigating business taxes; subscribe to our blog for the latest tips and advice from industry experts on this matter.