Filing & Paying Small Business Income Taxes

Business Tax Information on Your Personal Tax Return

Schedule C or Schedule K-1 for Your Form 1040

Business Taxes on Personal Tax Return
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Question: How do I include my business tax information on my personal tax return?

With most small businesses the income you receive from your business goes directly to your personal tax return. That means that the profits from the business you receive each year must be reported and paid as part of your total personal income on your personal tax return.

Your income from all sources—business and personal—ultimately ends up somewhere on your personal tax return. Each source of income has its box on the Form 1040.

Business Income on Your Personal Tax Return

There are a few different structuring options for small businesses. The most common are pass-through businesses which require income from the business to be passed through to the 1040 where it is taxed as income. There are basically two categories for pass-through businesses:

  • Schedule C: Sole proprietors and single-member LLC businesses must file their business taxes on a Schedule C. The Schedule C is primarily used by anyone who has a one-person business.
  • K-1: Partnerships, multiple-member LLCs and S corporations are also pass-through businesses. However, these companies must file their business income on an informational form and provide partners with a Schedule K-1.

In General Business Income into Personal Taxes

How this business tax information gets into your personal return depends on the type of business you own. As discussed above:

  • If your business is a sole proprietorship or a single-member LLC, you report your business income on a Schedule C for your 1040.
  • If your business is a partnership or a multiple-member LLC, you get your business income on a Schedule K-1 for your 1040.
  • If your business is an S corporation, you get your business income on a slightly different type of Schedule K-1 for your 1040.

Don't worry, all of this will be explained. Below are the details for each business type.

Filing Taxes as a Sole Proprietorship or Single-Member LLC

If you are filing business taxes as a  or  (which is taxed as a ), you will use  to determine the  of your business.

Enter the information on net income or loss, as calculated on your Schedule C on Line 12 (Business Income or Loss) of your personal 1040. The net profit or loss of your business is used along with any other income you might have to calculate your adjusted gross income and your personal taxes.

More information on Schedule C can be found, including instructions on how to prepare, when you can use , and more.

Filing Taxes as a Partner or Multiple-Member LLC 

If you are filing business taxes as a  or , you receive a  from your partnership. Schedule K-1 reports all income from the partnership, including earned income, dividends, distributions, interest, royalties, and capital gains. Your Schedule K-1 reflects your income from your portion of the profits (or losses) of the partnership.

For example, if you are in a partnership with one other person, and you have agreed to split profits 50/50, a $100,000 profit would give you $50,000, recorded on your Schedule K-1.

Schedule K-1 information is obtained from the partnership tax return , which is completed and filed separately with the IRS on behalf of the business. The totals on Form 1065 are divided among the partners based on their share of the partnership, as detailed in the  or operating agreement. No taxes are paid on the business’s Form 1065, it is only an .

Partners (and owners of a multiple-member LLC) receive a  which includes several pieces of information for the partner that must be included in the correct place on the personal tax return of the owner. Different types of partner income are entered at different places on the return.

Special Situation for Spouses as Partners

If you and your spouse are partners in a business, you may qualify to file your business tax return as a  (QJV). In this case, you may be able to file two Schedule C's instead of a partnership return. Your eligibility to  depends on your state and other circumstances.

Depending on how you agree to split the profits, your individual Schedule Cs would reflect your percentage of the income (and expenses) from the business. Both Schedule C forms are filed with your tax return (depending on how you file).

Filing Taxes as an S Corporation Owner

If you have income as an owner (shareholder) of an S corporation, you file a slightly different type of Schedule K-1 for Form 1120S. The information is similar to that of the Schedule K-1 for a partnership, and it's based on your share of the various kinds of income from the S corporation.

The on Form 1120-S, then the net income is split between the owners, on the Schedule K-1.

Schedule SE for Self-Employment Taxes

Don't forget self-employment taxes. In addition to paying income taxes on your business income, you may also have to pay  (Social Security/Medicare for self-employed business owners).

Your  (profit) is used to determine the amount of self-employment tax.

Yes, that means if you don't have a profit for the year, you don't have to pay self-employment tax for that year.

You must insert in Schedule SE the information on your net income from Schedule C, your share of partnership income from Schedule K-1, or from S corp income on Schedule K-1 (1120-S).  uses this information to calculate your  liability.

Mail Your Tax Return on Time

Make sure you file your tax return so it is received by the IRS no later than the due date. Check out the most up-to-date information on the  for the filing tax year. Reading more about  help you make sure your tax return is received on time.

Getting Help with Business Tax Filing

In some cases, you may want to consult a tax preparer to help you with this work. Many people choose do-it-yourself options with a . Multi-person small businesses may employ a financial professional with responsibilities for record keeping and tax.