Demystifying Corporation Tax Returns: A Beginner’s Guide

If you are a small business owner or CEO, the thought of filing your corporation tax return can be intimidating. After all, tax forms and jargon can confuse the most experienced business professional. However, preparing and filing your corporation tax return doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. In this article, we’ll help demystify the process and provide you with the essential information you need to get started.

What is a Corporation Tax Return?

First and foremost, let’s define what a corporation tax return is. A corporation tax return also known as a Corporate Tax Return is a form that corporations, or businesses that are set up as a separate legal entity, must file with the IRS. This form reports the business’s income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits so that the IRS can calculate the business’s taxable income.

When is the Corporation Tax Return Due?

Generally, the corporation tax return is due on the 15th day of the third month after the end of the corporation’s tax year. For instance, if your business follows the calendar year January to December, then the tax return is due on March 15th. It is important to note that if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, then the due date is moved to the next business day.

Do I Need to File a Corporation Tax Return?

In general, if you are a United States-based corporation or an LLC or partnership with a corporate structure, then you must file a corporation tax return. If your business is based outside of the United States, then you are subject to different filing requirements. It is essential to consult with a tax professional or the IRS to determine which forms you need to file.

What Forms Do I Need to File?

The form number that you need to file depends on the size and type of your business. Here are the most common forms that corporations use to file their tax returns:

Form 1120: For C Corporations and other corporations, this is the standard form to report income and taxes

Form 1120S: for S Corporations

Form 1065: for Partnerships

Form 990: For tax exempt organizations

It’s important to note that there are numerous schedules and attachments that may be necessary depending on your business’s situation, such as capital gains, foreign investments, or partnerships.

What Information Do I Need to Provide on the Corporation Tax Return?

Your corporation tax return will require detailed financial information regarding your business’s income and expenses. Here’s a list of the information that you may need to provide:

? Gross receipts or sales

? Cost of goods sold

? Business expenses

? Charitable donations

? Credits

? Income tax paid

? Balance sheet

? Statement of retained earnings

What Happens if I Don’t File My Corporation Tax Return?

Failing to file your corporation tax return can result in numerous consequences, including financial penalties, interest charges, and even criminal charges. The penalties for late filing can be severe, so it is in your best interest to file your return on time.


Filing your corporation tax return can be overwhelming, but with the right preparation and resources, it doesn’t have to be. Remember that it’s important to consult with a tax professional if you have any questions or concerns. Furthermore, technology has made it easier than ever to prepare and file your return online, so don’t hesitate to use available software programs and online tools to assist you. With a bit of research and patience, you will be able to successfully file your corporation tax return and keep your business finances in order.