What tax forms do I need to file for an LLC?

This question appears as a usual concern for those who set up an LLC (or a limited liability company). According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), LLC tax filing requirements are based on the company’s classification and number of members. Here’s a rundown of the classifications provided by IRS, and the corresponding tax forms an LLC needs to file.

LLC Tax Filing Requirements Per IRS Classification

LLC as Disregarded Entity

The IRS classifies most LLC with just one member as an entity separate from its owner. In this case, the owner report tax declarations on the following Form 1040 schedules:

  • C (on business profit or loss for sole proprietorship)
  • C-EZ (on net business profit for sole proprietorship)
  • E (on supplemental income and loss)
  • F (on farming profit or loss)

The sole LLC member should not file an income tax return. The member, however, is considered a corporation for purposes of employment tax, and for collecting income and excise taxes. The following forms contain instructions and other information about this classification:

  • 637 (on registration for excise tax activities)
  • 720 (on returns for quarterly federal excise tax)
  • 730 (on monthly tax return for wagers)
  • 2290 (on tax return for heavy highway vehicle)
  • 11-C (on wagering occupational tax and registration return)
  • 8849 (on excise tax refund claims)

LLC as Partnership       

An LLC with two or more members and is classified as a partnership must file Form 1065 (U.S. Return of Partnership Income). Only the LLC’s member manager can sign the partnership tax return. If there’s no nominated or elected member manager, then each LLC owner is treated as member manager.

LLC as Corporation

An LLC, irrespective of it has a single or multiple members, can pick to be classified as a corporation. In this case, the following forms need to be filed:

  • Form 8832 to select classification as a C corporation. The filer assigns a copy of this form to the federal income tax return of each LLC owner.
  • Form 2553 to select classiication as an S corporation

An LLC categorized as corporation must also file a corporation income tax return. This is filed either in Form 1120 or Form 1120S.

Change in LLC Classification

An LLC may choose to alter its classification. However, the LLC can only apply for the alteration 5 years after a previous classification alteration becomes effective. Also, classification changes have corresponding tax consequences. More details may be viewed in publications 541 and 542 of the IRS.

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