IRS Form 1120 – Who Must File it?
IRS Form 1120 – Who Must File it? All corporations including corps in bankruptcy must file an income tax return whether they have taxable income.
Purpose of Form IRS Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return, to report the income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and to figure the income tax liability of a corporation.
Who Must File IRS Form 1120
Unless exempt under section 501, all domestic corporations (including corporations in bankruptcy) must file an income tax return whether or not they have taxable income.
Domestic corporations must file IRS Form 1120, unless they are required, or elect to file a special return. See Special Returns for Certain Organizations below. Entities electing to be taxed as corporations. A domestic entity electing to be classified as an association taxable as a corporation must file Form 1120 unless it is required to or elects to file a special return listed under Special Returns for Certain Organizations below.
The entity also must file Form 8832, Entity Classification Election, and attach a copy of Form 8832 to Form 1120 (or the applicable return) for the year of the election. For more information, see Form 8832 and its instructions.
Limited liability companies (LLC). If an entity with more than one owner was formed as an LLC under state law, it generally is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes and files Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income. Generally, a single-member LLC is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner and reports its income and deductions on its owner’s federal income tax return. The LLC can file an IRS Form 1120 only if it has filed Form 8832 to elect to be treated as an association taxable as a corporation. For more information about LLCs, see Pub. 3402, Taxation of Limited Liability Companies.
Corporations engaged in farming. A corporation (other than a corporation that is a subchapter T cooperative) that engages in farming should use IRS Form 1120 to report the income (loss) from such activities. Enter the income and deductions of the corporation according to the instructions for lines 1 through 10 and 12 through 29.
Ownership interest in a Financial Asset Securitization Investment Trust (FASIT). Special rules apply to a FASIT in existence on October 22, 2004, to the extent that regular interests issued by the FASIT before October 22, 2004, continue to remain outstanding in accordance with their original terms.
If a corporation holds an ownership interest in a FASIT to which these special rules apply, it must report all items of income, gain, deductions, losses, and credits on the corporation’s income tax return (except as provided in section 860H). Show a breakdown of the items on an attached statement. For more information, see sections 860H and 860L (repealed with certain exceptions).
Foreign-owned domestic disregarded entities. If a foreign person, including a foreign corporation, wholly owns a domestic disregarded entity (DE), the domestic DE is treated as a domestic corporation separate from its owner (the foreign corporation) for the limited purposes of the requirements under section 6038A that apply to 25% foreign-owned domestic corporations. While a DE is not required to file a U.S. income tax return, a DE covered by these rules may be required to file a pro forma Form 1120 with Form 5472 attached by the due date (including extensions) of the return. See the Instructions for Form 5472 for additional information and coordination with Form 5472 reporting by the domestic DE.
Qualified opportunity fund. To be certified as a qualified opportunity fund (QOF), the corporation must file Form 1120 and attach Form 8996, even if the corporation had no income or expenses to report. See Schedule K, Question 25. Also, see the Instructions for Form 8996.
Qualified opportunity investment. If the corporation held a qualified investment in a QOF at any time during the year, the corporation must file its return with Form 8997, Initial and Annual Statement of Qualified Opportunity Fund Investments attached. See the instructions for Form 8997.
Electronic Filing Corporations generally can electronically file (e-file) IRS Form 1120, related forms, schedules, and attachments; Form 7004 (automatic extension of time to file); and Forms 940, 941, and 944 (employment tax returns). If there is a balance due, the corporation can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal while e-filing. Form 1099 and other information returns also can be electronically filed. The option to e-file does not, however, apply to certain returns.
Certain corporations with total assets of $10 million or more that file at least 250 returns a year are required to e-file Form 1120. See Regulations section 301.6011-5. However, these corporations can request a waiver of the electronic filing requirements. See Notice 2010-13, 2010-4 I.R.B. 327. For more information, visit the link.
When To File Generally, a corporation must file its income tax return by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of its tax year. A new corporation filing a short-period return generally must file by the 15th day of the 4th month after the short period ends. A corporation that has dissolved generally must file by the 15th day of the 4th month after the date it dissolved.
However, a corporation with a fiscal tax year ending June 30 must file by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the end of its tax year. A corporation with a short tax year ending anytime in June will be treated as if the short year ended on June 30, and must file by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the end of its tax year.
If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the corporation can file on the next business day.
Extension of Time To File Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, to request an extension of time to file. Generally, the corporation must file Form 7004 by the regular due date of the return. See the Instructions for Form 7004.
Who Must Sign The return must be signed and dated by:
- The president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer;
- Any other corporate officer (such as tax officer) authorized to sign.
If a return is filed on behalf of a corporation by a receiver, trustee, or assignee, the fiduciary must sign the return, instead of the corporate officer. Returns and forms signed by a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy on behalf of a corporation must be accompanied by a copy of the order or instructions of the court authorizing the signing of the return or form.
If an employee of the corporation completes IRS Form 1120, the paid preparer space should remain blank. Anyone who prepares Form 1120 but does not charge the corporation should not complete that section. Generally, anyone who is paid to prepare the return must sign it and fill in the “Paid Preparer Use Only” area. The tax accountant must complete the required preparer information and:
- Sign the return in the space provided for the preparer’s signature, and
- Give a copy of the return to the taxpayer.
IRS Form 1120
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