Franchise Tax

California Franchise Tax Filing Information

California has multiple taxes that resemble franchise taxes. All of the California tax filings listed below are separate from the California Statement of Information, which is also a filing requirement for both LLCs and Corporations that do business in California.

California’s minimum franchise tax for corporations

California's franchise tax is unique because it is a component of its corporate income tax filing. It acts as a kind of minimum tax for companies that do business in California. 

Every corporation that is incorporated, registered, or doing business in California must pay the $800 minimum franchise tax, unless:

  1. The tax year is 15 days or less
  2. They did not conduct any business in California during the 15 days

Because the Franchise Tax is a minimum tax as part of the corporate income tax filing, it's got the same due date, which is the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of your tax year, and can be extended.

California’s LLC Annual Tax

LLCs on the other hand don’t pay a “Franchise Tax”, but every LLC that is doing business or organized in California must pay an annual tax of $800. LPs are exempt from the Annual Tax.

The annual tax payment is due with LLC Tax Voucher (FTB 3522).

After you initially register with the Secretary of State, you have until the 15th day of the 4th month to pay your first-year annual tax.

Subsequent annual tax payments are due on the 15th day of the 4th month of your taxable year.

The LLC Fee

Additionally, if an LLC will make more than $250,000 in California Income, there is an additional fee owed based on the amount made. LLCs must estimate and pay the fee by the 15th day of the 6th month of the current tax year.

Use Estimated Fee for LLCs (FTB 3536), to remit the estimated fee payment. Late payments are subject to penalties and interest.

Both the LLC Annual Tax and the LLC Fee are additional to state income taxes, the Limited Liability Company Return of Income (Form 568).

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