The Rules of Paying Yourself a Bonus, Part 1

What you need to know if you're a sole proprietor or a one-member LLC

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If you are a sole proprietor or a one-member LLC, the dollars you take out of the business are considered a distribution of profit and have no effect on your tax liability. You can pay yourself by merely writing a check whenever you want the money. This distribution doesn't require the withholding of any payroll taxes or the filing of a W-2. Although you cannot pay yourself wages, you can take dollars out (as a family unit) by paying your spouse and/or children taxable wages for working in your business. Additionally, since your business dollars are considered your personal dollars, there is no formal way to loan dollars to your sole proprietorship or one-person LLC business. This means that loan repayment (plus interest) is not a viable way to take dollars out of businesses having either of these two forms of business ownership.

Source: "Taking Profits Legally--and With Minimal Tax Impact"

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