Form 1120

A business must manage its taxes, mainly if organized as a corporation, by utilizing Form 1120. Even with limited liability benefits, comprehending this tax form is crucial for efficient tax management.
Form 1120
Form 1120
Curious about filling it out? When your startup begins earning, paying taxes to the U.S. government becomes essential. However, understanding this specialized form is crucial for managing a growing company's taxes. So, let's understand Form 1120 to know what it is and how it works.
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Filing taxes for a business is significant, whether starting or already established. Adhering to tax regulations is crucial. Many big and small companies opt for the corporate structure, offering specific advantages.

However, being a corporation necessitates utilizing Form 1120, a unique tax document.

According to Small Business Administration data, most large companies (81.2%) and some small ones (24.8%) are structured as corporations. This structure offers benefits like reduced personal liability for debts and improved access to finances.

Yet, it involves managing Form 1120, customized for small businesses. 

What is Form 1120?

Form 1120 is a tax form businesses in the United States use to report their income, expenses, and taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

It’s like a report card for businesses to tell the government how much they earned, gains, losses, deductions, and credits and to figure out the income tax liability of a corporation.

When a company makes money, it lists its earnings and deducts expenses like salaries, rent, and supplies on Form 1120. Then, it calculates the taxes owed based on its profits. This form helps the IRS keep track of a company’s financial activities and ensures they’re paying the right amount of tax.

Filing Form 1120 accurately and on time is essential for companies to comply with tax laws and avoid penalties from the IRS.

It’s a way for companies to show the government how they manage their money.

Who Must File Form 1120?

Certain entities in the United States must file Form 1120, a tax document corporations use to report their income and taxes to the IRS. Here’s who needs to file:

  1. Domestic Corporations: Almost all domestic corporations, unless exempt under section 501 or electing to file a remarkable return, must file Form 1120, regardless of whether they made any taxable income.
  2. Entities Choosing Corporate Taxation: Any domestic entity choosing to be taxed as a corporation has to file Form 1120. This includes filing Form 8832, which indicates the election to be treated as a business for tax purposes.
  3. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs): Most LLCs are treated as partnerships or broken entities for tax purposes. However, if an LLC elects to be treated as a corporation, it must file Form 1120 following the submission of Form 8832.
  4. Corporations Engaged in Farming: Corporations involved in farming use Form 1120 to report their income and deductions related to farming.
  5. Other Specific Cases: There are additional scenarios, such as foreign-owned domestic disregarded entities, those involved with Financial Asset Securitization Investment Trusts (FASITs), and entities related to qualified opportunity funds or investments, which may also require filing Form 1120 or related forms for reporting purposes. 

The Role of Form 1120 in U.S. Tax Compliance

Form 1120 is crucial in ensuring businesses follow tax rules in the United States. It’s like a report card that corporations fill out to show how much money they make and how much tax they owe.

By listing their income and expenses accurately, companies determine their taxable profits. 

This form helps the IRS keep track of businesses’ financial activities and ensures they’re paying the right amount of tax.

Filing Form 1120 correctly and on time is vital for companies to comply with tax laws and avoid penalties, showing how they manage their money to the government.

What Do You Need to File Form 1120?

To file Form 1120, gather essential information and documents. You’ll need the following information before you begin your form:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Total assets and income
  • Date you incorporated
  • Gross receipts
  • Capital gains
  • Cost of goods sold (COGS)
  • Any dividends, interest, and royalties earned
  • Business tax credits, if applicable
  • Tax deductions

Information as outlined should be entered to complete Sections 1 to 4:

  • Basic corporation information
  • Income
  • Deductions
  • Tax, refundable credits, and payments

Sign and date the bottom of Form 1120’s first page before sending it in. This helps streamline and ensure accuracy in filing with the IRS.

How to Fill Form 1120
Form 1120 3

How to File Form 1120?

Filing Form 1120 is simple and offers two methods: electronic and mail. 

  • If opting for mail, complete the form and send it to the IRS.
  •  Alternatively, use the IRS e-file service for electronic filing. 

Corporations with over $10 million in assets must electronically file Form 1120. Choose the method that suits your corporation’s requirements to ensure a smooth filing process with the IRS.

Components of Form 1120

Form 1120 comprises essential sections crucial for businesses filing corporate income tax returns, encompassing the Identification Information and Income Section, which is pivotal for accurate tax reporting to the IRS.

Form 1120 includes vital sections for tax reporting:

Identification Information

The Identification Information section of Form 1120 gathers vital details about your corporation. It’s like your business’s I.D. card for taxes. This part asks for your corporation’s name, address, and Employer Identification Number (EIN). It ensures the IRS can correctly identify your business.

Any changes in address or corporate status should be updated here for accurate tax processing.

Income Section

The income section of Form 1120 captures various aspects:

  1. Line 1a records all sales from business operations, excluding certain income types like dividends and interests.
  2. Line 1b notes refunds given for returned items, rebates, or other customer allowances.
  3. Line 1c is the difference between gross sales and returns, showing the net amount.
  4. Line 2 represents the expenses incurred in producing goods or services.
  5. Line 3 calculates the company’s profit by subtracting COGS from net sales.
  6. Line 4 requires data from Schedule C detailing dividends and inclusions.

Tax Calculation

In Form 1120’s tax calculation section, crucial data is recorded:

  1. Line 30 calculates the corporation’s taxable income by subtracting deductions from gross income.
  2. Line 31 reports the corporation’s total tax obligation, referenced from Schedule J.
  3. Line 33 notes the corporation’s total payments and credits from Schedule J.
  4. Line 34 covers estimated tax penalties, requiring the attachment of Form 2220 under specific conditions.
  5. Lines 35 and 36 determine if the corporation owes more or has overpaid taxes, indicating amounts accordingly. Line 37 addresses refunds or future tax credits.

Other Information

The “Other Information” section in Form 1120 covers extra details vital for tax reporting. It’s like various schedules (C, J, K, L, M-1, M-2), adding finishing touches to your tax picture. Here, you provide specifics about shareholders, income allocations, deductions, etc.

This additional information ensures a comprehensive tax report, helping the IRS understand your corporation’s financial activities beyond income and tax calculations.

Step-by-Step Guide to Completing Form 1120

Want to tackle the 1120 tax form? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Dark Turqoise 3D Step by Step Instagram Post
Form 1120 4
  1. Gather Essential Information: Collect your corporation’s details like Employer Identification Number (EIN), incorporation date, assets, income, expenses, and tax-related records from financial statements and past tax returns.
  2. Fill Out Business Information: Enter corporation details like name, address, EIN, incorporation date, and asset information on the form.
  3. Complete Page 1: Fill in income details (gross receipts, returns, dividends, interest, rents, royalties, gains, losses, and other income) and deductions (compensation, salaries, repairs, interest, depreciation, etc.) thoroughly. Use the attached schedules for detailed information.
  4. Add Schedules & Sign: Attach relevant schedules (C, J, K, L, M-1, M-2) and ensure a qualified person signs and dates the form.
  5. Submission: File the form based on your corporation’s year-end date, either by mail or electronically (if required, based on asset value and return count).


Mastering Form 1120 is essential to navigating the tax landscape for corporations, ensuring compliance, accurate reporting, and timely filings with the IRS. This comprehensive filing ensures compliance with tax laws and accurate financial reporting. 

Moreover, timely tax payments are pivotal in managing a corporation’s tax liabilities and financial activities. Mastering Form 1120 is integral to meeting federal tax obligations and maintaining financial transparency with the government. Also, check out Beem Tax Calculator to get a quick and accurate estimate of your federal and state tax refund for free.


What is the 1120 form used for?

Corporations in the United States use Form 1120 to report their income, deductions, gains, losses, and tax liabilities to the IRS for federal income tax purposes.

What is the deadline for filing Form 1120?

The form should be submitted by the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the corporation’s tax year. If the fiscal year concludes on June 30, filing must occur by the 15th day of the third month.

Can Form 1120 be filed electronically?

Eligible Providers and Large Taxpayers in the IRS e-file program can electronically file Form 1120 (U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return), Form 1120-F for foreign corporations, and Form 1120-S for S Corporations using Modernized e-File.

What types of income are reported on Form 1120?

Form 1120 requires reporting income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits for domestic corporations, even if they had no income, to determine their tax liability. Entities like LLCs, farming corporations, and those choosing corporate taxation need to file Form 1120.

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This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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