Complete Guide About What Is a Schedule K-1 Form

Camino Financial08 Nov 2023
Complete Guide About What Is a Schedule K-1 Form

A Schedule K-1 is a tax form that reports income, deductions, credits, and other information items from partnerships, S corporations, trusts, and estates to their partners, shareholders, beneficiaries, and grantors.

By providing detailed insights into the taxpayer's taxable income, tax liability, and other critical tax-related items, the information documented on Schedule K-1 holds significant importance. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the fundamentals of Schedule K-1, shedding light on its purpose, the individuals obligated to file it, the underlying reasons for its submission, and step-by-step guidance on completing it accurately.

What Is An IRS Schedule K-1?

A K1 form is a federal tax document to report income, losses, deductions, and credits from a pass-through entity to its partners or shareholders. Pass-through entities are companies that do not pay tax at the entity level. Instead, the company's income, losses, deductions, and credits rest with the partners or shareholders, who report them on their individual tax returns.

What are K-1 forms used for?

Businesses fill out the K1 tax forms to report their income, deductions, and credits from business activity. The IRS uses this information to calculate the taxes owed by the business. Individuals who are partners in a business also use the K1 tax forms. The form reports the individual's share of the business's income.

When Should I Receive My Schedule K-1?

If you are a member of a pass-through entity, you should receive your Schedule K-1 no later than the 15th day of the third month following the end of the tax year. For example, if the tax year ended on December 31, 2021, you should receive your Schedule K-1 by March 15, 2022. You should contact the pass-through business entities if you do not receive your Schedule K-1 by the due date.

What Do You Need to Do When You Receive Your K1 Tax Form?

When you receive your K1 for taxes, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that you are filling it out correctly.
  • First, you must ensure that all of the information on the form is correct. This includes your personal information as well as information about your investment.
  • You will need to sign and date the form if everything is correct.
  • Once the form is complete, you must send it to the address listed.
  • You should receive a confirmation from the IRS once they have received your form.
  • You will then need to file your taxes, including your K1 form.
If you have questions about your K1 tax form, contact a tax professional or the IRS for more information.

Types of Income and Deductions

Many different types of income and deductions can be on Schedule K-1. The specific types of income and deductions that appear will vary depending on the type of pass-through entity.


  • Ordinary income
  • Interest income
  • Dividend income
  • Capital gains
  • Net operating losses
  • Charitable contributions
  • Foreign taxes


  • Business expenses
  • Depreciation
  • Amortization
  • Interest expense
  • Taxes
  • Charitable contributions
  • Net operating losses

Other Information

In addition to income and deductions, Schedule K-1 may also report other information, such as:
  • Capital account balance
  • Basis in the partnership interest
  • Shareholder's percentage of ownership
  • Information about the pass-through entity, such as its name, address, and taxpayer identification number
If you are a partner in a partnership or a shareholder in a corporation, you should contact the pass-through entity to see what information they are reporting on Schedule K-1. You should also consult a tax professional to ensure you properly report your income and deductions on your own tax returns.

Who Needs to File a Schedule K-1 Form?

Partners, shareholders, beneficiaries, and grantors of a business partnership, S corporations, trusts, and estates must file a Schedule K-1 form. You must send the form with the taxpayer's personal income tax return.

How to Fill Out a K1 Form for a Partnership

They must file the partnership's tax return (Form 1065, "U.S. Return of Partnership Income)" and the corresponding Schedule K-1. This reports to the Internal Revenue Service the partner's share in the income, profits, losses, deductions, credits, and liabilities. This form requires:
  • Company information.
  • Information about the partners, including their names, addresses, and taxpayer identification number.
  • Type of partners.
  • The partner's share in the gains, losses, capital, and liabilities at the beginning and end of the tax year.
  • Analysis of the member's account (how the balance evolves and changes during the period).
  • Participation of the member in the income.
  • Tax-exempt income and non-deductible expenses.

How Is the Schedule K-1 for S Corporations?

An S Corporation declares an annual tax return using Form 1120S, "U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation." They also must present the corresponding Schedule K-1, where you need to report each shareholder’s percentage of income, profits, losses, deductions, and credits. This form requires:
  • Information about the corporation.
  • Shareholder’s name, address, and other information.
  • Percentage of the shareholder’s ownership for the fiscal year.
  • The shareholder's participation in income.
  • Tax-exempt income and non-deductible expenses.
The information you need to fill out the form is in the business tax return and the financial statements.

What Is a K1 Form for a Limited Liability Company

These companies are somewhat different in fiscal terms: they can file their taxes as partnerships or sole proprietorships to the federal tax authorities. If your LLC files taxes as a partnership, you must file a K1 document taxes (Form 1065).
#DidYouKnow One-member LLCs must report as if they were a sole proprietorship, using Schedule C. In this case, they do not have to present Schedule K 1.
The tax form reports the partnership income, which is the participation of each member in the business income, deductions, and tax credit items.

Schedule K-1 for Trusts And Estates

Trusts and estates can decide whether to pass income to their beneficiaries or not. If they do, the estate needs to file their Schedule K-1 alongside Form 1041, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts.” The K-1 1041 is "to report a beneficiary's share of the estate's or trust’s income, credits, deductions, etc. This form has a second page with the pertinent schedule K 1 codes you must complete. This form requires the following:
  • Information about the Estate or Trust
  • Information about the beneficiary
  • Beneficiary's Share of current tax year income, deductions, credits, and other items.
To learn how to do it step by step, this is the 2020 instructions for a beneficiary filing form 1040 or 1040-SR.

How to Complete K-1 Tax Forms

All K-1s have three parts:

Part I

Here you must add information about the company/partnership/estate. The information includes:
  • EIN number.
  • name (for estates)
  • full address
  • number of shares (for corporations)

Part II

Here you must add information about the business partner/shareholder/beneficiary. The information includes:
  • ID number
  • name
  • full address
  • number of shares and loans (for corporations)
  • type of partner, losses, and shares (for partnerships)

Part III

Here you must specify the participation of the partner/shareholder/beneficiary in the finances of the business or trust. The information includes:
  • income
  • dividends
  • credits
  • gains
  • deductions
  • tax adjustments

How to file a K1 Form

Partners and shareholders must attach this information to their personal income tax return (i.e., 1065 or 1120S).
#DidYouKnow The easiest way to submit forms is by using the IRS’ electronic platform or tax preparing software. Alternatively, if you feel a bit nostalgic, you can walk to the post office and mail them.

When to File Your Schedule K-1

Generally, you must file your Schedule K-1 by the same deadline as your individual tax return. For most taxpayers, this is in April. However, if you are extending your tax return, you may also extend the deadline for filing your Schedule K-1.

Tips for Filing Form K-1

  • Ask for help if you need it: Even though we have explained how to complete the tax form independently, some steps are complex. Hire a tax professional or an experienced accountant to ensure the forms contain accurate information in your tax filing process.
  • Don't forget to include the form: You must attach your Schedule K 1 to your personal tax return. Otherwise, the IRS will not accept it. Do not let your bad memory make you pay fines for filing late.
  • Use the correct tax form: There are different versions of the tax form, one for companies, which must refer to Form 1065, and another for S corporations, which must reference Form 1120S. Don't mix them up!
  • You will always receive an IRS Form K1: As long as you are a partner or shareholder of a business that operates as a pass-through entity, you will receive a Schedule K 1, even if the company has had losses during the tax year.
  • Do not worry about blank spaces: You may not have to fill out the entire tax form, as the form covers a wide variety of situations that do not necessarily apply to all businesses.

It's Time to Present Your K-1

Now you know about filing a K1 tax form and what you must present alongside your personal tax returns if you're part of a transferring entity. And even though there are different K-1 forms, all the information you need to complete them is in your business tax return and your financial statements. Finally, don't forget to attach your tax form to your individual statement and look for tax advice from an expert for your paying income tax.


Are K-1 distributions taxable?

Distributions aren't usually taxable income.

Is the IRS Schedule K-1 Income considered earned income?

Depends on your participation and status. Sometimes, general partners and active owners in a business or pass-through business entity may have their income classified as earned income, potentially subjecting them to self-employment tax obligations.

Do I need to file a K-1 if I have no income?

If the Schedule K-1 form shows no income (it has zeros in all boxes), you won’t need to report it to the IRS.

How do I report K-1 income?

To your individual tax return, you need to add the income amounts that appear on your Schedule K-1.

What should I do if I do not receive a Schedule K-1?

You must file a tax extension to avoid any problems with the IRS. Also, contact the business or trust and ask them to send it to you.

How does a K-1 affect my taxes?

This generally affects your income taxes in one of two ways: increasing your tax liability or providing you with a tax deduction. If the K1 presents income, then it will likely increase your total tax liability for the year. This is because most forms of income are taxable, and the k1 reports this information to the IRS. However, if the IRS form K1 represents a loss or expenditure (for example, if you're investing in a partnership), then it may provide you with a tax deduction. This can reduce your overall tax liability for the year, potentially saving you money.

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