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LLC Tax for Non-Residents: What Taxes Will Be Liable for in the USA?

Sep 22, 2023 | USA Accounting

Are you a non-resident LLC owner in the USA? Wondering what taxes that you may be liable for? Keep reading this blog as we will unravel what you need to know about LLC tax for non-residents and provide essential insights to help you comply with the IRS tax rules and regulations.

LLC Tax for Non-Residents: Types of Taxes Non-Residents are Liable for

If you are a non-resident individual or a foreign company looking to establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the United States, it is important to understand the tax implications that come with it.

While LLCs are a popular choice for businesses due to their flexibility and liability protection, the tax requirements for non-resident LLCs can be complex depending on various factors.

In this blog, we will break down the key tax considerations you should be aware of to help you navigate the U.S. tax landscape affecting your non-resident LLC and ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.

Understanding LLC Tax for Non-Residents

Before we proceed into the tax obligations, let’s first clarify what a non-resident LLC is. A non-resident LLC is an LLC formed in the United States but owned by non-resident individuals or foreign entities.

Non-resident LLCs can engage in various business activities in the U.S., such as buying or selling real estate, conducting business operations, or investing in U.S. companies.

However, the LLC tax for non-residents differs from that of LLCs owned by U.S. residents or citizens.

Federal Income Tax for Non-Resident LLCs

As a non-resident LLC, you are subject to federal income tax in the U.S. on income that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business (ECI). ECI generally includes the income derived from regular, continuous, and substantial activities in the U.S.

This can include income from sales of goods or services, rents, royalties, and interest, among others.

To report your ECI, you must file Form 1120-F, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation, with the IRS. The tax rates for non-resident LLCs are the same as those for foreign corporations, with a flat rate of 21% on ECI.

However, additional tax treaty benefits may be available, depending on your country of residence, which can lower the tax rate or provide exemptions.

State Taxes for Non-Resident LLCs

In addition to federal taxes, another LLC tax for non-residents is state tax. Each state has its own tax laws, and the tax treatment of non-resident LLCs can vary widely from state to state.

Some states impose a state-level income tax on non-resident LLCs, while others may impose franchise taxes, sales taxes, or other taxes.

You need to research and understand the tax laws of the specific state(s) where your LLC operates or owns property to ensure compliance. Failure to comply with state tax requirements can result in penalties, interest, and other legal consequences.

Consider consulting with a tax professional or attorney with expertise in state tax laws to ensure you meet all your obligations.

Withholding Taxes for Non-Resident LLCs

Another critical aspect of LLC tax for non-residents is withholding taxes. Withholding taxes are withheld from certain payments made to non-residents, such as wages, rents, royalties, and dividends.

The withholding tax rates vary depending on the type of income and the applicable tax treaty, if any.

As a non-resident LLC, you may be required to withhold taxes on payments made to foreign employees, contractors, or shareholders. Failure to withhold and remit the required amount of withholding taxes can result in penalties and interest.

It’s essential to understand the withholding tax requirements and ensure compliance to avoid any legal or financial repercussions.

Tax Planning Strategies for Non-Resident LLCs

As a non-resident LLC, proper tax planning can help you optimise your tax liabilities and minimise your tax burden. Here are some tax planning strategies that you may consider:

Tax Treaties

Review the tax treaty between your country of residence and the U.S. for potential benefits such as lower tax rates or exemptions.

Expense Deductions

Take advantage of various expense deductions the IRS allows, such as business, rental, and interest expenses, to reduce taxable income and lower tax liability.

Timing of Income and Expenses

Correctly timing the recognition of income and expenses can impact tax liability, such as deferring income to a later year or accelerating payments for expenses.

Consult with Tax Professionals

Work with qualified tax professionals or accountants knowledgeable in U.S. tax laws and have experience with non-resident LLCs to implement effective tax planning strategies tailored to your specific situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can a non-resident LLC be subject to state-level taxes in multiple states in the USA?

    Forming an LLC in the US as a non-resident typically involves following the same steps as a US resident, which are:
    – Choosing a state
    – Selecting a unique business name
    – Filing the necessary formation documents with the state
    – Appointing a registered agent and obtaining any required licenses or permits.
    Research state requirements and seek legal or professional help to ensure compliance.

  • Which state is best to form LLCs for non-residents? 

    The ideal state for forming a non-resident LLC in the US depends on factors like business goals, tax implications, and legal requirements.

    Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming are popular choices for non-resident LLCs due to favorable business laws. Consult with a business advisor or tax professional to choose the best state based on your unique needs.

  • Can a non-resident LLC claim tax credits or deductions for taxes paid in the USA in their home country?

    Depending on the tax treaty between the home country of the non-resident LLC owner and the USA, it may be possible to claim tax credits or deductions in the home country for taxes paid in the USA.

    You may need to consult with tax professionals in both countries to determine the availability and eligibility for such tax benefits.


Being aware of the types of taxes and tax planning strategies can help your business stay compliant and avoid potential legal issues. With a proper understanding of IRS regulations, it’s possible to minimise tax liabilities and operate a successful non-resident LLC.

Consult Sterlinx Global for further tax or accounting advice on your Non-Resident LLC.

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