Publication 542 - Introductory Material

Photographs of missing children. The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.


This publication discusses the general tax laws that apply to ordinary domestic corporations. It explains the tax law in plain language so it will be easier to understand. However, the information given does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning.

Note. This publication is not revised on an annual basis. To find changes that may affect current year returns, see the instructions for your income tax return for the current year; and Changes to Current Forms and Publications at

Comments and suggestions.   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

  You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service 
Business, Exempt Organizations and International Forms and Publications Branch 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

  We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.

  You can email us at * (The asterisk must be included in the address). Please put “Publications Comment” on the subject line. You can also send us comments at Select “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications” under “Information about.” Although we cannot respond individually to each comment, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.

Tax questions.   If you have a tax question, visit or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions at either of the addresses listed above.

Ordering forms and publications.   Visit to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the National Distribution Center at the address shown under How to Get Tax Help, later in this publication.

Additional forms.   A list of other forms and statements that a corporation may need to file is included at the end of this publication.

Useful Items - You may want to see:


  • 510 Excise Taxes (Including Fuel Tax Credits and Refunds)

  • 535 Business Expenses

  • 538 Accounting Periods and Methods

  • 544 Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets

  • 550 Investment Income and Expenses

  • 925 Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules

  • 946 How to Depreciate Property

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