Restaurants are required to report tip income earned by their employees.  This tip income is treated as wages, so both the employer and employee must may social security and medicare tax on these amounts. However, the employer can get most of their payroll taxes back through a credit claimed on Form 8846.

The credit calculation is fairly straightforward.  It is 7.65% of “eligible tips”.  Eligible  tips are tips that exceed a base hourly rate of $5.15 per hour. If you pay your tipped employees greater than $5.15 per hour, all the tips are eligible.  If not, the tips required to increase the employee’s pay to $5.15 per hour are ineligible.

For even small restaurants this credit can be very significant. C-Corporations claim the credit as part of the General Business Credit.  Flow-through entities (partnerships and S-Corps) calculate the credit on their return and then report the credit to the owners on schedule K-1.  The owners then get the benefit of the credit on their personal returns.

Feel free to email me with questions or suggestions for more topics at Also learn more about me at





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s