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Chapter 8. Taxes: Don't Get Caught Aslee... > When to File Your Tax Return and Wha...

When to File Your Tax Return and What Forms to Use

In general, the due dates for filing your business tax returns are based on two key elements: the legal structure of your business and whether you use a calendar or fiscal year as your tax year.

  1. Sole Proprietorship— If you are a sole proprietor, you will use these forms when completing your tax return:

    Schedule C—Profit or Loss from Business

    Form 1040—Individual Income Tax Return

    Schedule SE—Self-Employment Tax

    Form 8829—Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, if your home office qualifies

  2. Partnerships and limited liability companies— If your business is structured as either a partnership or limited liability company, you will use these forms when filing your return:

    Form 1065—U.S. Partnership Return of Income

    Schedule K-1—Partner's Shares of Income, Credits, Deductions

    K-1s are distributed to the partners or the limited liability company members and are a required portion of the tax return. Like the sole proprietor, filing dates depend on the tax year you have chosen.

  3. Corporations— If your business is structured as a corporation, you will use these forms when filing:

    Form 1120—U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return

    or

    Form 1120 S—U.S Income Tax Return for an S-Corporation, if you are structured as an S-Corporation

    Form 2553—first year only for S-Corporations

    Schedule K-1—Partner's Shares of Income, Credits, Deductions, if you are an S-Corporation

  4. Filing Dates for Corporations and S-Corporations— For corporations using the calendar year, the due date for taxes is March 15. For corporations using the fiscal year, the return must be filed by the fifteenth day of the third month after the end of your corporation's tax year.


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