Table of Contents
- Purpose of Form
- Who Must File
- When To File
- Who Must Sign
- Paid Preparer Authorization
- Assembling the Return
- Tax Payments
- Interest and Penalties
- Accounting Methods
- Accounting Period
- Rounding Off to Whole Dollars
- Other Forms and Statements That May Be Required
Use 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.
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 Form 1120, unless they are required, or elect to file a special return. See Special Returns for Certain Organizations, below.
Corporations can generally electronically file (e-file) 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 can also 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 www.irs.gov/Filing. Click on the links for Self-Employed & Small Businesses and Corporations.
Special Returns for
|Instead of filing Form 1120, certain organizations, as shown below, file special returns.|
|If the organization is a:||File Form|
|Exempt organization with unrelated trade or business income||990-T|
|Religious or apostolic organization exempt under section 501(d)||1065|
|Entity formed as a limited liability company under state law and treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes||1065|
|Subchapter T cooperative association (including a farmers' cooperative)||1120-C|
|Entity that elects to be treated as a real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC) under section 860D||1066|
|Interest charge domestic international sales corporation (section 992)||1120-IC-DISC|
|Foreign corporation (other than life and property and casualty insurance company filing Form 1120-L or Form 1120-PC)||1120-F|
|Foreign sales corporation (section 922)||1120-FSC|
|Condominium management, residential real estate management, or timeshare association that elects to be treated as a homeowners association under section 528||1120-H|
|Life insurance company
|Fund set up to pay for nuclear decommissioning costs (section 468A)||1120-ND|
|Property and casualty insurance company
|Real estate investment trust (section 856)||1120-REIT|
|Regulated investment company (section 851)||1120-RIC|
|S corporation (section 1361)||1120S|
Generally, a corporation must file its income tax return by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the end of its tax year. A new corporation filing a short-period return must generally file by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the short period ends. A corporation that has dissolved must generally file by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the date it dissolved.
If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the corporation can file on the next business day.
Corporations can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing” rule for tax returns. These private delivery services include only the following.
DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.
Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.
United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.
For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to IRS.gov and enter “private delivery services” in the search box.
File Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, to request a 6-month 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.
The return must be signed and dated by:
The president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer; or
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 signing of the return or form.
If an employee of the corporation completes 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 paid preparer must complete the required preparer information and:
Sign the return in the space provided for the preparer's signature.
Give a copy of the return to the taxpayer.
A paid preparer may sign original or amended returns by rubber stamp, mechanical device, or computer software program.
If the corporation wants to allow the IRS to discuss its 2013 tax return with the paid preparer who signed it, check the “Yes” box in the signature area of the return. This authorization applies only to the individual whose signature appears in the “Paid Preparer Use Only” section of the return. It does not apply to the firm, if any, shown in that section.
If the “Yes” box is checked, the corporation is authorizing the IRS to call the paid preparer to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of its return. The corporation is also authorizing the paid preparer to:
Give the IRS any information that is missing from the return,
Call the IRS for information about the processing of the return or the status of any related refund or payment(s), and
Respond to certain IRS notices about math errors, offsets, and return preparation.
The corporation is not authorizing the paid preparer to receive any refund check, bind the corporation to anything (including any additional tax liability), or otherwise represent the corporation before the IRS.
The authorization will automatically end no later than the due date (excluding extensions) for filing the corporation's 2014 tax return. If the corporation wants to expand the paid preparer's authorization or revoke the authorization before it ends, see Pub. 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.
File the corporation's return at the applicable IRS address listed below.
|If the corporation's principal business, office, or agency is located in:||And the total assets at the end of the tax year are:||Use the following address:|
|Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin||Less than $10 million and Schedule M-3 is not filed||Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0012
|$10 million or more or
less than $10 million and
Schedule M-3 is filed
|Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0012
|Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming||Any amount||Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0012
A foreign country or U.S. possession
|Any amount||Internal Revenue Service Center
P.O. Box 409101
Ogden, UT 84409
A group of corporations with members located in more than one service center area will often keep all the books and records at the principal office of the managing corporation. In this case, the tax returns of the corporations may be filed with the service center for the area in which the principal office of the managing corporation is located.
To ensure that the corporation's tax return is correctly processed, attach all schedules and other forms after page 5 of Form 1120 in the following order.
Schedule N (Form 1120).
Schedule D (Form 1120).
Schedule O (Form 1120).
Additional schedules in alphabetical order.
Additional forms in numerical order.
Supporting statements and attachments.
Complete every applicable entry space on Form 1120. Do not enter “See Attached” or “Available Upon Request” instead of completing the entry spaces. If more space is needed on the forms or schedules, attach separate sheets using the same size and format as the printed forms.
If there are supporting statements and attachments, arrange them in the same order as the schedules or forms they support and attach them last. Show the totals on the printed forms. Enter the corporation's name and EIN on each supporting statement or attachment.
The corporation must pay any tax due in full no later than the 15th day of the 3rd month after the end of the tax year.
Corporations must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits (such as deposits of employment, excise, and corporate income tax). Generally, electronic funds transfers are made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). However, if the corporation does not want to use EFTPS, it can arrange for its tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make deposits on its behalf. Also, it may arrange for its financial institution to initiate a same-day payment (discussed below) on its behalf. EFTPS is a free service provided by the Department of the Treasury. Services provided by a tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other third party may have a fee.
To get more information about EFTPS or to enroll in EFTPS, visit www.eftps.gov, or call 1-800-555-4477 (TTY/TDD 1-800-733-4829).
Generally, the following rules apply to the corporation's payments of estimated tax.
The corporation must make installment payments of estimated tax if it expects its total tax for the year (less applicable credits) to be $500 or more.
The installments are due by the 15th day of the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th months of the tax year. If any date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the installment is due on the next regular business day.
The corporation must use electronic funds transfer to make installment payments of estimated tax.
Use Form 1120-W, Estimated Tax for Corporations, as a worksheet to compute estimated tax. See the Instructions for Form 1120-W.
Penalties may apply if the corporation does not make required estimated tax payment deposits. See Estimated tax penalty, below.
If the corporation overpaid estimated tax, it may be able to get a quick refund by filing Form 4466, Corporation Application for Quick Refund of Overpayment of Estimated Tax. See the instructions for Schedule J, Part II, line 14, later.
Its tax liability for the current year, or
Its prior year's tax.
Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return;
Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return;
Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees;
Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return; or
Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax.
Figure taxable income using the method of accounting regularly used in keeping the corporation's books and records. In all cases, the method used must clearly show taxable income. Permissible methods include cash, accrual, or any other method authorized by the Internal Revenue Code.
Generally, the following rules apply. For more information, see Pub. 538, Accounting Periods and Methods.
A corporation (other than a qualified personal service corporation) must use the accrual method of accounting if its average annual gross receipts exceed $5 million. However, see Nonaccrual experience method for service providers, in the instructions for line 1a.
Unless it is a qualifying taxpayer or a qualifying small business taxpayer, a corporation must use the accrual method for sales and purchases of inventory items. See the instructions for Form 1125-A.
A corporation engaged in farming must use the accrual method. For exceptions, see section 447.
Special rules apply to long-term contracts. See section 460.
Dealers in securities must use the mark-to-market accounting method. Dealers in commodities and traders in securities and commodities can elect to use the mark-to-market accounting method. See section 475.
If the corporation's taxable income for the current tax year is figured under a method of accounting different from the method used in the preceding tax year, the corporation may have to make an adjustment under section 481(a) to prevent amounts of income or expense from being duplicated or omitted. The section 481(a) adjustment period is generally 1 year for a net negative adjustment and 4 years for a net positive adjustment. However, in some cases, a corporation can elect to modify the section 481(a) adjustment period. The corporation must complete the appropriate lines of Form 3115 to make an election. See the instructions for Form 3115. If the net section 481(a) adjustment is positive, report it on line 10 as other income. If the net section 481(a) adjustment is negative, report it on line 26 as a deduction.
A corporation must figure its taxable income on the basis of a tax year. A tax year is the annual accounting period a corporation uses to keep its records and report its income and expenses. Generally, corporations can use a calendar year or a fiscal year. Personal service corporations, however, must use a calendar year unless they meet one of the exceptions, discussed later under Personal Service Corporation.
The corporation can round off cents to whole dollars on its return and schedules. If the corporation does round to whole dollars, it must round all amounts. To round, drop amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. For example, $1.39 becomes $1 and $2.50 becomes $3.
If two or more amounts must be added to figure the amount to enter on a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total.
Keep the corporation's records for as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Usually, records that support an item of income, deduction, or credit on the return must be kept for 3 years from the date the return is due or filed, whichever is later. Keep records that verify the corporation's basis in property for as long as they are needed to figure the basis of the original or replacement property.
The corporation should keep copies of all filed returns. They help in preparing future and amended returns and in the calculation of earnings and profits.
Any listed transaction, which is a transaction that is the same as or substantially similar to one of the types of transactions that the IRS has determined to be a tax avoidance transaction and identified by notice, regulation, or other published guidance as a listed transaction.
Any transaction offered under conditions of confidentiality for which the corporation (or a related party) paid an advisor a fee of at least $250,000.
Certain transactions for which the corporation (or a related party) has contractual protection against disallowance of the tax benefits.
Certain transactions resulting in a loss of at least $10 million in any single year or $20 million in any combination of years.
Any transaction identified by the IRS by notice, regulation, or other published guidance as a “transaction of interest.”
The corporation may have to pay a penalty if it is required to disclose a reportable transaction under section 6011 and fails to properly complete and file Form 8886. Penalties may also apply under section 6707A if the corporation fails to file Form 8886 with its corporate return, fails to provide a copy of Form 8886 to the Office of Tax Shelter Analysis (OTSA), or files a form that fails to include all the information required (or includes incorrect information). Other penalties, such as an accuracy-related penalty under section 6662A, may also apply. See the Instructions for Form 8886 for details on these and other penalties.
Any deferred COD income that is included in income in the current tax year.
Any deferred COD income that has been accelerated because of an event described in section 108(i)(5)(D) and must be included in income in the current tax year. Include a description and the date of the acceleration event.
Any deferred COD income that has not been included in income in the current or prior tax years.
Any deferred OID deduction allowed as a deduction in the current tax year.
Any deferred OID deduction that is allowed as a deduction in the current tax year because of an accelerated event described in section 108(i)(5)(D).
Any deferred OID deduction that has not been deducted in the current or prior tax years.
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