How to File a Tax Return for an LLC

By David Ingram

LLCs borrow tax forms from sole proprietorships and partnerships rather than using their own specialized forms. Single-member LLCs file taxes like an individual, using Form 1040, Schedule C to calculate business income. Multi-member LLCs use the form for partnerships to calculate their tax obligations for the year. An LLC can also elect to file as a C or S corporation, using the appropriate forms. You can file all forms online, making tax time more convenient for LLC members.

Single-Member LLCs

Step 1

Download and print IRS Form 1040 and Schedule C (see Resources). Form 1040 is the form for individual income tax returns, and Schedule C is the form for profit or loss from individuals' business activity.

Step 2

Complete Form 1040. Begin by specifying your filing status and claiming any exemptions for dependents. Moving on to the income section, list all of your normal income in addition to the supplemental income listed on the form. List deductible expenses in the next section, then move on to the second page to calculate your tax obligation or refund.

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Step 3

Complete Schedule C. List all business income in part one, and all business expenses in part two. Follow the instructions in part three to calculate your cost of goods sold, then list additional expenses in sections four and five.

Step 4

Submit both forms at tax time. Follow the link at the end of this article to find the IRS's E-File website, where you can upload your forms and submit payment online with instant verification.

Multi-Member LLCs

Step 1

Download and print IRS Form 1065 and Schedule K-1 (see Resources). Form 1065 is for income from partnership organizations, and Schedule K-1 is for individual partners' share of partnership income.

Step 2

Complete Form 1065. This form is a bit more complicated than Form 1040, as it is specifically designed for businesses. After listing your company's information at the top of the form, complete page one by listing all normal income and deductible expenses. Use Schedule A to calculate your cost of goods sold, and address all of the questions in Schedule B. Use Schedule K to analyze individual partners' share of income and arrive at the company's net income. List all required balance sheet items in Schedule L. Use Schedule M-1 to reconcile the profit or loss on your books to the profit or loss on your tax return and use Schedule M-2 to analyze changes in the balance of the partners' capital accounts.

Step 3

Complete Schedule K-1. Fill out all of the information on page one to determine your individual tax obligation from your share of company profits.

Step 4

Submit the forms at tax time on the IRS's E-File website.

Filing as a Corporation

Step 1

Download and complete Form 1120 if you wish to classify your LLC as a C-corporation for tax purposes (see Resources). Use Form 1120 to calculate your tax obligation by adding all income and subtracting all deductible expenses for the year.

Step 2

Use Form 1120S if you wish the IRS to classify your LLC as an S-corporation at tax time.

Step 3

Submit Form 1120 or 1120S on the E-File website at tax time.

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