S corporations are the nation's most common corporate tax designations.

The popularity of S corporations, which have grown from 725,000 in 1985 to over three million in 2002, is well deserved. There's no double taxation of the company's net income and capital gains as there is with a C corporation. Since losses flow through to the shareholders, they can offset income from other sources. And while a partner has to pay self-employment tax on partnership net earnings, S corporation shareholders aren't subject to self-employment tax on their share of income.

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