State Taxes Impact Business Sales, Too

Business State Tax

Written by Curt Bach

October 19, 2021

For various reasons, business owners sometimes decide to put their companies on the market. To successfully negotiate the sale of a business, it’s critical to understand the tax implications. Armed with this knowledge, you can assess the impact of various transaction structures and sales price allocations on your net proceeds from the sale and potentially adjust the sales price accordingly.

Business owners tend to focus on the federal tax implications of a sale, but don’t ignore state taxes. Now that federal tax rates are lower than they’ve been in the past, state taxes may take on added significance. If you’re contemplating relocating or retiring to another state, it may make sense to consider moving before you sell the business ― especially if the new state has low, or even no, income tax.

Before you attempt this strategy, however, be sure to consult a qualified tax advisor. Changing your domicile and residence for tax purposes isn’t like flipping a switch. You’ll need to take several specific actions to demonstrate your intent to establish a permanent place of abode in the new state, such as obtaining a driver’s license, registering to vote, and becoming involved with local organizations and activities.

Keep in mind, too, that there may be rules about the number of days spent in the state. So, you may have to do more than take the steps above to show that you’re a resident of your new state. For instance, if you live in your “old” state most of the year and spend only a couple months in your new state, you could find that, at least for tax purposes, you’re deemed a resident of both states. We can help you prepare for the state tax implications of a business sale.

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Curt Bach
I joined Hawkins Ash CPAs in August 2010, and am currently a manager in the firm’s Medford office. I provide a variety of tax services, including trust and estate tax preparation and planning. I have more than nine years of experience providing audit and tax services to nonprofit organizations, governmental entities and small businesses. I am a member of our firm’s tax committee and not-for-profit service group.

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