Do you have questions about how goodwill is taxed? In this article, we provide the answer to this question in an easy-to-understand way. We’ll explain the taxation of goodwill, how it’s affected by your personal business holdings, and the potential tax deductions associated with goodwill.

How is Goodwill Taxed?

Goodwill is taxed differently depending on the type of goodwill. Generally, goodwill is classified as either personal goodwill or corporate goodwill. Corporate goodwill is associated with the assets of the business, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks, and is typically taxed at the corporate level. Personal goodwill, on the other hand, is associated with the individual owner of the business, and is taxed at the individual level.

When personal goodwill is sold, it is generally taxed at capital gains rates, regardless of the length of time the owner has held the business. The buyer of the business can take a tax deduction for the amount of goodwill they receive, just like any other asset.

However, if the seller has owned the business for less than a year, any capital gains realized from the sale of the business will be taxed at ordinary income tax rates.

If the goodwill of the business is personal goodwill, the sale of goodwill will be taxed at the individual shareholder level, not at the corporate level. Whether or not the goodwill is considered a personal asset depends on the ownership structure of the business and the intentions of the shareholders.

It’s important to note that the IRS can challenge the tax treatment of goodwill, so it’s important to consult a tax professional before selling your business to make sure you understand the tax implications.


Understanding how goodwill is taxed is an important step in any business sale process. Generally, personal goodwill is taxed at capital gains rates, while corporate goodwill is taxed at the corporate level. Depending on the ownership structure and intentions of the shareholders, the IRS may challenge the tax treatment of goodwill, so it’s important to consult a tax professional before selling your business.

For more information about selling a business and business brokers, visit This is a great resource for answers to all your questions about selling a business and about business brokers.

What are the tax implications of goodwill?

When it comes to goodwill, this portion of the business value will be taxed at a lower rate, since it is considered capital gain for the seller, rather than ordinary income. Therefore, it is more beneficial for the seller to have a higher percentage of goodwill.

What are the financial implications of selling a business’s reputation and customer loyalty?

If you’ve owned your business for more than one year, the amount allocated to goodwill is beneficial because any long-term capital gains made from selling your business will be taxed at a rate between 15-20%.

Does goodwill qualify as a capital asset for tax purposes?

Goodwill is a non-physical asset that can be defined as a capital asset. It is the extra amount paid when one company purchases another, which is above the book value. Goodwill is categorized as a capital asset because it gives a steady source of income for more than one year.

What is the most advantageous option: selling assets or goodwill?

This makes it a more advantageous choice for them to invest in
physical assets that will give them more value.