California is generally known as a relatively high tax state, which business owners universally recognize. While taxes vary by organization (for example, a C-Corp will be taxed differently than an LLC), the general consensus is that they are steeper in California than in nearby states.
“Taxation is always a contentious issue in California,” said Rodney Yoh, owner of Best Online Traffic School. “I think it’s an expensive place to do business.”
The highest income tax rate in the state is 8.84%, according to the Tax Foundation, and the overall tax climate for businesses is ranked 49th in the nation. Individual taxes that affect transit entities such as LLCs are also high. The maximum personal income tax rate is 13.3%. Tax Freedom Day, which measures how long it takes taxpayers to meet their tax burden, falls on April 23 for California; it is seven days later than National Tax Freedom Day and is at number 38 in the country.
California businesses have a sales and use tax imposed by states, counties, and municipalities on transactions. If you employ workers, you will need to register for California employer taxes, which include employee income tax, employment training tax, unemployment insurance tax, and disability insurance. Then there is the California franchise tax, which is levied annually. Visit the California Revenue Center to obtain the required forms.
“It’s no secret that California is a higher taxing state and that can put some pressure on businesses because, really, who likes to pay taxes?” The only one said.
However, Sole said the tax dollars that go towards community projects like infrastructure maintenance and public transportation also help businesses that rely on regular travel like his.
However, the high tax burden could be overwhelming for some companies, to the point of pushing them out of state, said Matthew Ross, co-owner and chief operating officer of The Slumber Yard.
“California taxes are a big disadvantage for business owners,” he said. “Honestly, taxes are the main reason we decided to move our company from California to Nevada. Why pay 13% more taxes when you can just live an hour away and save tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year? “It’s easy, in my opinion.”