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Basic Guide to Form 1120 - U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return

Information Needed to File Form 1120


Shredded US tax form
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In order to file Form 1120 - U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return, you need to know the information required. Here is a general outline of this form to get you started gathering information to file your corporate income tax return. Not all details are included, so be sure to review the form to make sure you can answer all questions asked and provide all required information.

Section 1 - Basic Information
Basic information about the corporation, including name, address, EIN, date of incorporation, and total assets.

Section 2 - Information About Corporate Income
Income by category, including gross receipts, cost of goods sold, dividends, interest, rents, royalties, and capital gains.

Section 3 - Deductions
List of deductions:

  • Officer compensation
  • Other salaries/wages
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Bad debts
  • Rents
  • Taxes and licenses
  • Interest expense
  • Charitable contributions
  • Depreciation (Form 4562)
  • Depletion
  • Advertising
  • Pension, profit-sharing, etc. plans
  • Employee benefit programs
  • Domestic production activities (Form 8903)
  • Other deductions, detailed in schedule

Section 4 - Tax, Refundable Credits, & Payments
Taxable income, tax from schedule, less any credits. If overpayment, refund amount. If underpayment, amount owed.

Schedules. Some are required (like balance sheet), and others must be provided if information is listed on the return. If you don't have cost of goods sold, for example, you don't have to provide this schedule.

  • Schedule A Cost of Goods Sold
  • Schedule C - Dividends and Special Deductions
  • Compensation of officers
  • Schedule J - More detail on tax computation, including credits and other taxes
  • Schedule K - Other information, about accounting method, business type, NAICS classification number, ownership of stock and information about shareholders.
  • Schedule L - Balance Sheet per books, at the beginning of the year and the end of the year (the beginning balance sheet should be the same as last year's ending balance sheet.
  • Schedule M-1 Reconciliation of Income/Loss Per books with Income per return (this is a calculation your tax preparer will probably have to do.
  • Schedule M-2 Analysis of unapprorpriated retained earnings per books (another section your tax preparer will need to do).

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