Updated November 5, 2020:

C Corp K1

A C corp K1 document is actually filed in the form of a 1099-DIV, which is filed only when C corporations pay dividends to the company shareholders. The K-1, also referred to as Schedule K-1, is similar to that of a W-2 or Form 1099. It must be filed if a business chooses to operate as a partnership or S corporation. Schedule K-1 will identify certain investment income, including interest, dividends, and capital gains/losses. It also identified passive income, such as rent, as well as non-passive business income. It might even identify certain deductions and credits.

K-1 for Partnerships

A partnership is a business venture entered into between two or more partners. It operates as a pass-through entity; therefore, the partnership does not pay income tax. Instead, the profits and losses of the partnership flow through to the partners of the business. Regarding losses, partners might have the ability to deduct such losses, so long as the loss is not affected by the partner’s basis or at-risk limitation. The partners then report such income and deductions on their personal tax returns. For tax purposes, partnerships file Form 1065, and all partners will receive a Schedule K-1 from that return. Thereafter, each partner will report the information identified on Schedule K-1 on their own individual tax return.

K-1 for S Corporations

S corporations also don’t generally pay corporate income tax. Instead, the taxes pass through to the shareholders of the business. This type of corporation must file Form 1120S, which will generate a Schedule K-1 for each owner. Those owners will then use that schedule to complete their own personal tax return, similarly to the partners in a partnership.

K-1 for C Corporations

As previously mentioned, C corporations do not utilize Schedule K-1. The reason for this is because C corporations pay their own corporate taxes via Form 1120; the individual shareholders of the C corp are then taxed again on their personal tax return for dividends issued to them from the corporation. Therefore, the C corp will issue 1099-DIV to the shareholders, as opposed to Schedule K-1.

Personal Tax Returns for Shareholders and Owners

Regardless of what type of business you own, the income you receive from your business will be disclosed on your personal tax return, on Form 1040. However, the way in which your business tax information gets input onto your personal tax return will depend on the type of business structure you operate.

• Sole proprietorship. If you operate a sole proprietorship or a single-member LLC, then you must report your business income on Schedule C.

• Partnership/Multi-member LLC. If you operate a partnership or multiple-member LLC, then you would report your business income on Schedule K-1, also known as Form 1065.

• S Corporation. If you operate an S corporation, then you will report your business income on a different type of Schedule K-1 referred to as Form 1120S.

• C Corporation. If you operate a C corporation, then you will report the dividend income received on your personal tax return. Furthermore, if you are employed by the corporation, then that income will also be reported as taxable employment income.

What is on the Schedule K-1

This form will be used to report an owner’s share of the company’s income, deductions, credits, and other items. The form itself shows only the last four digits of one’s social security number, the employer identification number, or the individual taxpayer identification number. The form doesn’t identify the actual amount of dividends distributed, as 1099-DIV will disclose those numbers.

It is important to note that owners must report corporate items identified on the Schedule K-1 in the same way that the corporation treated those same items on its tax return form. If there is any inconsistency in this area, you’ll have to file Form 8082, known as a Notice of Inconsistent Treatment or Administrative Adjustment Request. This request must be filed along with the original tax return to identify and explain the inconsistencies identified in the initial tax return. More importantly, if you are required to file this form but fail to do so, you may be subject to additional tax implications.

If you believe that the corporation made an error on your Schedule K-1, then you must notify the corporation immediately and ask that the information be corrected. You’ll also want to ensure that the corporation sends the amended form directly to the IRS.

If you need help with learning more about the Schedule K-1, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.