A corporation that elects to be taxed as a corporation. The C corporation pays federal and state income taxes on earnings. When the earnings are distributed to the shareholders as dividends, this income is subject to another round of taxation (shareholder's income). Essentially, the C corporations' earnings are taxed twice. In contrast, the S corporation's earnings are taxed only once.
Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University