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12122: LLC - What Federal Return to File


1040 Individual

What federal return type does a Limited Liability Company (LLCs) file?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) return may be filed federally as a corporation, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship depending on the makeup of the entity.

  • Single member LLCs would file federally as follows:
  • If the only member of the LLC is an individual, the LLC income and expenses are generally reported on Form 1040, Schedule C, E, or F.
  • If the only member of the LLC is a corporation, the LLC income and expenses are generally reported on the corporation’s return, usually Form 1120 or Form 1120-S.
  • Multiple member LLCs would file federally as follows:
  • Most LLCs with more than one member file a partnership return using Form 1065.
  • If the LLC would like to file as a corporation, Form 8832 (Entity Classification Election) must be submitted.

LLCs are created under various state laws, therefore sometimes they do not follow federal protocols. For example, some states allow single member LLCs to file as partnerships while federally the LLC must file Form 1040, Form 1120, or Form 1120-S.

For more information, see Publications 541, Partnerships, and 542, Corporations.


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