The Rise of Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTET)
The pass-through entity tax (PTET) has emerged as a game-changing solution for owners of pass-through businesses, such as S corporations and multi-member LLCs. Previously an exception, PTET has now taken center stage in most states. This innovative approach allows businesses to circumvent the $10,000 annual limitation on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.
Demystifying PTET Mechanics
At its core, the PTET process is elegantly simple yet remarkably impactful. Pass-through entities (PTEs) now have the option to pay state income taxes on their business earnings, a responsibility typically borne by the individual owners. Subsequently, the PTE claims a federal business expense deduction for these state income tax payments. Importantly, states permit individual owners to claim a credit or deduction for these taxes, enabling them to sidestep the SALT limit.
This strategic maneuver results in a dual benefit for owners: they leverage the federal deduction against state income tax, all while avoiding the shackles of the $10,000 SALT limit on a portion or entirety of their pass-through income.
Presently, 36 out of the 41 states that impose income taxes have embraced some iteration of the PTET concept. Notably, this trend continues in 2023, with Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, and West Virginia joining the ranks of PTET adopters.
Of this group, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and West Virginia have implemented retroactive PTET policies dating back to 2022. Nebraska’s PTET has retrospective implications for 2018. Meanwhile, Hawaii and Montana have chosen not to apply retroactive measures to their PTET implementations.
Eligibility for PTET hinges on the type of business entity. Partnerships, S corporations, and multi-member LLCs taxed as such are generally eligible to opt for state PTET. Conversely, sole proprietorships, single-member LLCs taxed as sole proprietorships, C corporations, most trust structures, and LLCs taxed as C corporations are typically ineligible.
Election Deadlines and Opt-Outs
It is important to note that while no state, except Connecticut, mandates a PTE to pay a state PTET, the decision to do so rests with the entity. Election deadlines for PTET vary from state to state.
In most states, a PTET election applies universally to all owners within the PTE, with individual owners usually unable to opt-out. Exceptions to this rule exist in Arizona, California, New York, and Utah.
Connect with Us
If the intricacies of the pass-through entity tax (PTET) raise questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out directly at 757-410-8030. We are here to ensure that you have the clarity and confidence needed to navigate this evolving tax landscape effectively.