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Limited Liability Company (LLC)
State law governs its formation and various aspects of its business relations.  It is regarded as a hybrid entity, combining the positive corporate characteristic of limited liability, with the pass-through tax treatment of partnerships.  It offers owners substantial management and operational flexibility.

There is no provision in the Internal Revenue Code specifically governing the federal treatment of LLCs.  An LLC is not a federal tax entity but can elect how to be treated for federal tax purposes under the check-the-box regulations. Classify your LLC by filling out form 8832 (either as a corporation, a partnership, or as a sole proprietor).

All income, profits, losses, credits, and deductions pass through to LLC members according to the LLC’s operating agreement and are reported on members’ individual income tax returns.

Read on to learn more about LLCs from the IRS website.


Partnerships
A partnership is the relationship existing between two or more persons who join to carry on a trade or business. Each person contributes money, property, labor or skill, and expects to share in the profits and losses of the business.

A partnership must file an annual information return to report the income, deductions, gains, losses, etc., from its operations, but it does not pay income tax. Instead, it "passes through" any profits or losses to its partners. Each partner includes his or her share of the partnership's income or loss on his or her tax return.

Partners are not employees and should not be issued a Form W-2. The partnership must furnish copies of Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) to the partners by the date Form 1065 is required to be filed, including extensions.

If you are a partnership or a partner (individual) in a partnership, use the information in the charts below to help you determine some of the forms that you may be required to file.

Read more about partnership formation on the IRS website.


C Corporations

In forming a corporation, prospective shareholders exchange money, property, or both, for the corporation's capital stock. A corporation generally takes the same deductions as a sole proprietorship to figure its taxable income. A corporation can also take special deductions. For federal income tax purposes, a C corporation is recognized as a separate taxpaying entity. A corporation conducts business, realizes net income or loss, pays taxes and distributes profits to shareholders.

The profit of a corporation is taxed to the corporation when earned, and then is taxed to the shareholders when distributed as dividends. This creates a double tax. The corporation does not get a tax deduction when it distributes dividends to shareholders. Shareholders cannot deduct any loss of the corporation.

If you are a C corporation, use the information in the chart below to help you determine some of the forms you may be required to file.
Corporations that have assets of $10 million or more and file at least 250 returns annually are required to electronically file their Forms 1120 and 1120S for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006. For more e-file information, see References/Related Topic listed below.

Read more about C Corporations on the IRS website.


S Corporations
S corporations are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credit through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. Shareholders of S corporations report the flow-through of income and losses on their personal tax returns and are assessed tax at their individual income tax rates. This allows S corporations to avoid double taxation on the corporate income. S corporations are responsible for tax on certain built-in gains and passive income.

To qualify for S corporation status, the corporation must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a domestic corporation
  • Have only allowable shareholders
    • including individuals, certain trust, and estates and
    • may not include partnerships, corporations or non-resident alien shareholders
  • Have no more than 100 shareholders
  • Have one class of stock
  • Not be an ineligible corporation i.e. certain financial institutions, insurance companies, and domestic international sales corporations.

In order to become an S corporation, the corporation must submit Form 2553 Election by a Small Business Corporation (PDF) signed by all the shareholders.”

Find more information about S Corporations on the IRS website.


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