Subchapter S Corporation
The Subchapter S corporation is a variation of the standard corporation. The S corporation allows income or losses to be passed through to individual tax returns, similar to a partnership. The rules for Subchapter S corporations are found in Subchapter S of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code.
An S corporation has the same corporate structure as a standard corporation. It is a legal entity, chartered under state law, and is separate from its shareholders and officers. There is generally limited liability for corporate shareholders. The difference is that the corporation files an election on Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation, to be treated differently for federal tax purposes.
Generally, an S corporation is exempt from federal income tax other than tax on certain capital gains and passive income. It is treated in the same way as a partnership, in that generally taxes are not paid at the corporate level.
An S corporation files Form 1120S, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return for an S Corporation. The income flows through to be reported on the shareholders’ individual returns. Schedule K-1, Shareholder’s Share of Income, Credits and Deductions, is completed with Form 1120S for each shareholder. The Schedule K-1 tells shareholders their allocable share of corporate income and deductions. Shareholders must pay tax on their share of corporate income, regardless of whether it is actually distributed.