Small Business Tax Preparation Guide

8. Business Tax Return Forms: Uses and Due Dates

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Business Finance

Business Tax Return Forms: Uses and Due Dates

Mar 31, 2023 • 5 min read
Many different US tax forms on the table
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      Filing a business tax return should be straightforward and easy. Your type of business determines which tax form you will file. There are five types of business entities: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, C Corporation, S Corporation, or Limited Liability Company.

      Sole Proprietorship (Form 1040 or 1040-SR)

      More than 70% of businesses are sole proprietorships, as they’re easy to form and operate, and no state filing is required. The tax form used for a sole proprietorship is Form 1040 or 1040-SR (for Seniors 65 or older), which is the individual’s personal tax return. Your business activity as a sole proprietor will be reported on the Schedule C which is the business portion of the Form 1040 or 1040-SR. 

      For all taxpayers, the deadline for filing federal income taxes is April 18, 2023, instead of April 15. This is because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia. These deadlines do not apply to state and local tax returns. 

      This is also the last day to request a six-month tax extension using Form 4868 until October 16, 2023. This automatic extension, while extending the filing of the return, does not defer the liability for interest and penalties which remain due April 18, 2023.

      Partnership (Form 1065)

      Two or more individuals own a Partnership. There are general partnerships and limited partnerships. General partners participate in managing the partnership and often have liability for partnership debts and obligations. Limited partners invest, but do not participate in management. Each partner can have a different percentage of the partnership.

      Each partner receives a distributive share of the profits and losses of the business each year based on their partnership share. In addition, some partners may receive a guaranteed payment, usually for services like management duties.

      Like sole proprietorships, no state filing is usually required, the partners remain personally liable for all debts, and each must report company profits and losses on their personal tax returns 1040 or 1040-SR. To do this, they must use a Schedule K-1, which is generated by filling out Form-1065.

      If your business is organized as a partnership, your income tax return is due March 15, 2023. However, an automatic six-month extension can be exercised by filing a Form 7004, which makes the renewed due date September 15, 2023. The K-1 generated for each member is due on their personal tax return on April 18, 2023.

      C Corporation (Form 1120)

      C Corps are the most commonly formed corporations. To start a C corporation, you draft and file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State, issue stock certificates to the initial shareholders, and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Please refer to the Articles of Incorporation to see what type of Corporation has been formed: C Corp or S Corp.

      A regular corporation (also known as a C corporation) is taxed as a separate entity. The corporation must file a Form 1120 each year to report its income, usually by April 15. However, this year the federal tax return is due April 18, 2023. If a Form 7004 is filed, the extension will be for an automatic six months to October 16, 2023.

      S Corporation (Form 1120S)

      A company becomes an S Corp by filing a form 2553. This is different from a C Corp, as it is not taxed as a separate entity, but more like a partnership where taxes “pass-through” the entity (i.e., profits and losses from the corporation are reported on the tax returns of individual shareholders who are also responsible for paying the tax on it). The S Corp is limited from one to 100 shareholders, who will get a Schedule K-1.

      The Form 1120S is due March 15, 2023, unless a form 7004 is filed exercising an automatic six-month extension to September 15, 2023. The Schedule K-1 is due with the shareholder’s personal tax return on April 18, 2023.

      Limited Liability Company – LLC (1040, 1040-SR, 1065,8832)

      An LLC includes sole or multi-member companies whose owners want to protect their personal assets and pay less in taxes than they would as a C corp. The benefit of an LLC is that the company, not the members, is liable for any debts or liabilities incurred by the company, but like a partnership, “pass-through” to the personal income of the owners of the LLC.

      Every state in the United States allows for some form of registration as a limited liability company or LLC. The requirements for LLC registration and the general coverage provided by LLC registration will vary by state.

      A single member LLC files a Form 1040 or 1040 SR Schedule C, due April 18, 2023. A domestic LLC with at least two members is classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes (and file a Form 1065 due March 15, 2023) unless it files Form 8832 and elects to be treated as a corporation.

      Bottom Line

      If you have a Partnership (Form 1065), S-Corp (Form 1120-S), or LLC with multi-members (Form 1065), the due date is March 15, 2023, unless you file a Form 7004 to extend automatically for six months to September 15, 2023.

      Sole Proprietorship (Form 1040 and 1040 S0R), C-Corp (Form 1120), and Single Member LLC’s (Form 1040) are all due April 18, 2023, this year, due to the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia. 

      While Form 1120 can be extended automatically with no penalty to October 16, 2023, using Form 7004, Forms 1040 and 1040-SR can also be extended six months with Form 4868 to October 16, 2023. However, you will be liable for interest and penalties if you do not pay by April 18, 2023.

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      About the author
      Dana Wall

      I am a director-level Accounting and Finance Professional with over 20 years of progressive experience in the Entertainment industry. My career has allowed me to lead all accounting actions for large organizations, including month-end close, budget analysis, and internal controls. I am a CPA with a MBA from the University of California, Irvine.

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