What Tax Form Does an LLC File? A Complete Guide

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Wondering what tax form your LLC needs to file? As a business entity, an LLC has specific IRS tax filing requirements depending on factors like the number of members. This guide covers everything you need to know about LLC tax forms, from the Schedule C to Form 1065.

Whether you have a single-member LLC or a multi-member LLC, we’ll explain the correct forms to file and how to complete them. Read on to learn about LLC tax rules, self-employment taxes, filing deadlines, deductible expenses, and more. With the right info, you can file your LLC taxes correctly and maximize deductions.

Quick Answers

Before diving into forms, here’s a quick LLC tax refresher: LLCs themselves don’t pay federal income tax. LLC profits/losses pass through to members’ personal tax returns. The LLC’s tax forms help report income and deductions. Members pay taxes based on their share of the LLC’s income.

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of what form an LLC needs to file.

Single-Member LLC Tax Forms

For federal taxes, a single-member LLC is considered a “disregarded entity.” This means the IRS sees it as a sole proprietorship.

Sole proprietors report profits/losses on Schedule C of Form 1040. This is the main tax form single-member LLCs use.

Schedule C

Schedule C reports your LLC’s income and expenses, which get added to your total income on Form 1040. To complete it, gather records of the LLC’s:

  • Gross receipts or sales
  • Returns and allowances
  • Cost of goods sold
  • Business expenses

Maximize deductions by tracking expenses like:

  • Equipment and supplies
  • Advertising
  • Contract labor
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Legal and professional services

Schedule SE

Schedule SE covers your self-employment tax, which funds Social Security and Medicare. It’s 15.3% of net earnings for 2022, after deductions.

So if your LLC had $50,000 in profit after expenses, you’d owe about $7,650 in self-employment tax when you file Schedule SE.

Quarterly Estimated Payments

If you’ll owe $1,000 or more in taxes for the year, the IRS requires quarterly estimated payments to stay current. You can submit these payments via Form 1040-ES.

Paying quarterly helps avoid penalties for underpayment when you file your return. The IRS requires you to pay either 90% of your total tax for the year or 100% (110% for high earners) of the previous year’s tax.

State Taxes

Don’t forget about state taxes for your LLC! Most states levy income tax on LLC earnings. Some also charge LLC fees and franchise taxes.

Check your state’s requirements for:

  • Business license fees
  • Annual report filings
  • Income, sales, or gross receipts taxes
  • Employment taxes if you have employees

Filing Deadlines

The deadline to file your federal individual tax return is April 15. But if the LLC operates on a calendar year, you can file Schedule C and Schedule SE with your Form 1040 by this date.

Most states require LLC income tax returns to be filed by April 15 as well. However, it’s essential to verify your state’s due dates.

Multi-Member LLC Tax Forms

If there’s more than one LLC member, the entity is considered a partnership. Partnerships file Form 1065 for federal taxes.

Form 1065

This information return reports the LLC’s profits, losses, deductions, credits, etc. The LLC completes Form 1065 then issues Schedule K-1s.

These list each member’s share of those items to report on their personal returns. Form 1065 is due on March 15, a month before individual returns.

Schedule K-1

Schedule K-1 shows how much of the LLC’s income gets reported on each member’s Form 1040. The LLC must send a K-1 to each partner or member by March 31.

Schedule K-1 also indicates if the partner owes any self-employment tax on their share. This depends on their role in the LLC.

Quarterly Estimated Taxes

As with single-member LLCs, partners may need to pay quarterly estimated taxes on their share of LLC earnings to avoid penalties.

State Taxes

States follow federal partnership tax treatment. So members report LLC income on state returns based on their Schedule K-1 amounts.

Some states also impose franchise taxes or fees on partnerships like LLCs. Check specific requirements where your business operates.

Filing Deadlines

The deadline for partnerships to file federal Form 1065 is March 15. And Schedule K-1s must go out by March 31.

Most states also use March 15 for the partnership return deadline. However, the due date for individual income tax returns is typically April 15.

LLC Taxed as S Corporation

LLCs can elect to be taxed as S corporations by filing Form 2553. This option offers potential tax savings but more complex filing.

Form 1120S

Instead of Form 1065, S corporation LLCs file Form 1120S — the income tax return for S corporations. This is due March 15.

Schedule K-1

LLC members still get Schedule K-1s indicating their share of income. However, more tax situations apply to shareholders of S corps.

For example, only income from the S corporation that’s distributed to members is taxable. Profits left in the company are generally tax-deferred.

W-2 Pay

With an S corp, member-employees get W-2 wages. These are subject to income tax and self-employment tax.

The LLC must pay members “reasonable compensation” to legitimize S corp treatment.

Quarterly Estimated Taxes

Income tax and self-employment tax on member pay may require S corp members to pay quarterly estimated taxes.

State Taxes

Most states honor federal S corporation status. But some treat S corps differently or impose franchise taxes. Verify state rules for S corps.

Filing Deadlines

The deadline to file Form 1120S for S corps is March 15. And Schedule K-1s must go to members by March 31. W-2 pay is reported like other businesses by January 31.

LLC Filing Requirements Summary

Here’s a quick summary of key IRS tax forms LLCs must file:

  • Single-member LLC: Schedule C and Schedule SE with Form 1040.
  • Multi-member LLC: Form 1065 (LLC return) and Schedule K-1s to members.
  • LLC as S corporation: Form 1120S (S corp return), Schedule K-1s, and W-2 pay.

Now let’s go over some frequently asked questions about LLC taxes.

Work With an LLC Tax Expert

As the rundown of LLC tax forms shows, LLC tax filing can get complicated, especially with multiple members.

For personalized guidance on completing your LLC tax return correctly, connecting with a knowledgeable CPA or enrolled agent is best.

The right pro advisor can help you:

Classify LLC expenses and deductions properly.

Maximize write-offs like equipment purchases or home office use.

Determine if S corporation treatment makes sense.

Assess what you’ll owe for self-employment tax.

Estimate and pay quarterly taxes on time

And more tailored to your specific LLC.

So don’t leave your LLC’s taxes to chance. An experienced tax specialist can optimize your filings while avoiding penalties and other costly mistakes. Reach out today to ensure you meet all IRS requirements for your LLC.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does an LLC pay taxes?

An LLC itself does not pay income tax. The LLC’s profits and losses pass through to its owners to report on their personal tax returns. However, an LLC may need to withhold and pay employment taxes for any employees.

What if I miss the LLC tax deadline?

If you miss the deadline to file Form 1065 or 1120S, the IRS may assess penalties and interest. For individual returns, you can file Form 4868 to extend your due date. But any taxes owed are still due by the original deadline.

Do LLCs pay quarterly taxes?

If an LLC expects to owe more than $1,000 in taxes for the year, it generally must pay quarterly estimated taxes to the IRS to avoid underpayment penalties. Individual owners can make estimated payments as well.

How do I know what taxes I’ll owe for my LLC?

The total tax bill will depend on the LLC’s income, deductions, entity type, owner participation, distributions, and more. Work with an accountant or tax professional to estimate taxes and optimize your liability.

Where can I get LLC tax forms?

You can download IRS tax forms for LLCs like Schedule C, Form 1065, and Form 1120S as PDFs from the IRS website. Most tax software and CPAs can also provide the forms.

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