Schedule K-1 Simplified: A Concise Explanation Of The Federal Tax Form (2024)

The Schedule K-1 tax form is an important document to report investment income taxes and must be provided to each partner or shareholder by the partnership, S corporation, or trust. As a sponsor, securely issuing individual tax forms to investors is a top priority and should be done promptly and efficiently.

Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting, this article will provide an overview of the Schedule K-1 and offer valuable insights into how our platform can effectively distribute important tax articles to your investors.

Schedule K-1 Simplified: A Concise Explanation Of The Federal Tax Form (1)

What is a Schedule K-1?

A Schedule K-1 is a federal tax document provided by the IRS and issued by entities such as Partnerships, S corporations, and Trusts and Estates to report earnings, losses, and dividends. Under the United States Internal revenue code, these institutions can utilize the “pass-through” taxation method to shift income liability from the entity to individuals that benefited from any profits gained on the investment.

Commercial real estate investments as part of a group or syndication also require that you file a Schedule K-1. The IRS bases this requirement on the equity contribution or agreements between the investor and the general partner (GP). In addition, the entity must show net operating profits or losses in its business.

There are three types of Schedule K-1’s

Partnership Schedule K-1’s

When two or more people form a partnership to conduct business for a profit, the owners must distribute all earnings to their partners. The partners are then responsible for paying taxes on the income.

Partnerships are considered “pass-through” entities, meaning the business itself does not pay taxes; the partners do. In this case, each partner receives a K-1 statement that reports their earnings, deductions, and credits.

For example: if a business generates $600,000 in taxable income under a partnership agreement involving six equal partners, each partner will receive a K-1 indicating the earnings of $100,000 (or 1/6 of the total taxable income) to report to the IRS. This tax condition is also proper for investments in limited partnerships and some ETFs.

S Corporation Schedule K-1

An S Corporation (S Corp) is a corporation taxed under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. S Corps are also considered to be pass-through entities. To report their financial information to the IRS, an S Corp must file Form 1120-S, the U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return. Along with the 1120-S, the S Corp must also distribute Schedule K-1 forms to its stockholders, showing their share of the entity’s income, deductions, credits, and other tax items.

For example, let’s say an S Corp operates a commercial real estate business. The business generates rental income and incurs expenses such as property management fees and repairs. At the end of the year, the S Corp files the Form 1120-S and distributes schedule K-1 forms to its stockholders. The stockholders then report their share of the business’s rental income and expenses on their individual tax returns.

Note: this applies to companies with fewer than 100 stockholders

Trust and Estate K-1 Forms

Compared to Partnerships and S Corporations, Trusts and Estates are unique entities when it comes to filing taxes. A trust can elect to pay the tax on its income instead of shifting the tax liability to the beneficiaries. In this scenario, the trust files a Form 1041, also known as the U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. This tax form will show the trust’s income, deductions, gains, losses, and credits for the tax year and is used to report the taxable income generated by the trust.

Similar to the previous illustrations, there are also instances where a trust or estate may opt to distribute its taxable income to its beneficiaries. In this case, the beneficiaries receive a k1 tax form, which reflects their share of the taxable gain or loss, and then report their share of the trust’s income on their tax returns.

Let’s take a scenario where a trust holds a rental property that generates an annual income of $80,000. In this instance, the trust may file a Form 1041 and report the $80,000 as its taxable income. Suppose the trust chooses to allocate the payment among its beneficiaries. In that case, it will prepare and distribute schedule K-1 forms to each beneficiary, reflecting their respective share of the income and any related deductions. The beneficiaries, in turn, would then have to report their share of the gain on their tax returns.

It’s crucial to know that trusts and estates have specific guidelines when filing taxes. The regulations regarding allocating trust income to its beneficiaries can be intricate, making it imperative to consult a tax expert to guarantee adherence to tax laws and regulations.

What To Know Before You File as an Investor

Investors who are also equity holders in an entity can expect to receive a pro-rata share of the entity’s profits and losses. For example, if an LLC submits a tax return, the entity will claim all deductions and income. In this case, a form K-1 will be issued to the investor by the company, and the preparation of the investor’s tax return will reference that K-1.

Distributions listed on form K-1s are generally not taxable, but any amount distributed, on the other hand, could reduce an investor’s basis and be treated as a return of capital.

Whether you’re an experienced or inexperienced investor, you should always speak with a CPA to fully comprehend how rental real estate investments affect your tax situation.

Schedule K-1 Simplified: A Concise Explanation Of The Federal Tax Form (2)

How Schedule K-1s work on our platform

InvestNext’s enhanced sharing functionality is integrated with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology which reads the numerical file names from financial folders and matches each document to your investor’s account, enabling you to upload mass documents at once without having to rename investor files, reducing the risk of human error and freeing up valuable time for you.

By leveraging our mass distribution sharing tool, you can enhance investor satisfaction by providing K1s promptly and conveniently. Once your CPA provides you with a batch file of tax forms, you can import the entire zip folder into the uploader, and the system will match each file to the appropriate investor within minutes.

Additionally, investors will benefit from the convenience of having all of their investment information housed in one central location, accessible at any time. Our goal with updating our sharing application is to make it simple for you to manage and distribute K1s while also serving as a valuable resource for your investors.

Feature Benefits:

  • Accelerated Workflow: Eliminates manual and labor-intensive tasks, such as renaming and individually uploading documents to each investor.
  • Security: Confidential information stays protected; sensitive files are transported securely within the portal.
  • Investor Satisfaction: Timelier delivery for investors to submit important tax documents before the filing deadline.
  • Consolidated Filing System: A centralized filing system that allows investors to access and submit important tax documents in a timely manner.

Click here for more information on how InvestNext streamlines tax reporting and takes the hassle out of K-1 distributions.

Schedule K-1 Simplified: A Concise Explanation Of The Federal Tax Form (2024)


Schedule K-1 Simplified: A Concise Explanation Of The Federal Tax Form? ›

A Schedule K-1 is a federal tax form that pass through entities like partnerships and S corporations and sometimes trusts and estates send to their partners, shareholders, or beneficiaries. The form reports the income, losses, and gains passed to each party with an interest in the entity.

What is Schedule K-1 federal tax form? ›

The Schedule K-1 is the form that reports the amounts passed to each party with an interest in an entity, like a business partnership or an S corporation. The parties use the information on the K-1 to prepare their separate tax returns.

How does a K1 affect my personal taxes? ›

How does Schedule K-1 affect personal taxes? In general, a K-1 can affect personal taxes in two ways: either by increasing a partner's tax liability or by providing them with a tax deduction. It will likely increase their total tax liability for the year if the K-1 is associated with an income.

Who needs to file Schedule K-1? ›

Schedule K-1 is an IRS form used by partnerships, S corporations, and estates and trusts to declare the income, deductions, and credits that partners, shareholders, and beneficiaries have received in the tax year. Individual taxpayers transfer the financial information on their K-1s to their tax returns.

Is IRS Schedule K-1 income considered earned income? ›

Ordinary income reported to an individual shareholder on Schedule K-1 from an S corporation is not considered self-employment income. Such income is investment income. It is thus not subject to self-employment tax, nor is it included in the calculation of earned income for the credits that are based on earned income.

Do I need to include Schedule K-1 with my 1040? ›

Purpose of Form

Use Schedule K-1 to report a beneficiary's share of the estate's or trust's income, credits, deductions, etc., on your Form 1040 or 1040-SR. Keep it for your records. Don't file it with your tax return, unless backup withholding was reported in box 13, code B.

Do I need to report K-1 with no income or loss? ›

Suppose your business is operating at a loss, and there's no taxable income to report. In that case, the entity is still responsible for filing K-1s with the IRS and issuing this information to shareholders.

Do beneficiaries pay tax on K1? ›

You are subject to tax on your share of the estate's or trust's income, and you must include your share on your individual tax return. Schedule K-1 (541), column (b) shows amounts from your federal Schedule K-1 (Form 1041), Beneficiary's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.

What expenses can I deduct as a K1? ›

You may be allowed to deduct unreimbursed ordinary and necessary expenses you paid on behalf of the partnership (including qualified expenses for the business use of your home) if you were required to pay these expenses under the partnership agreement and they are trade or business expenses under section 162.

What happens if I forgot to include K1 on my tax return? ›

Generally, the omission of income reported on Schedule K-1 from your return will generate an IRS notice regarding the missing income if it is substantial enough to generate a tax liability.

What does a K1 tell you? ›

What Is Schedule K-1? Schedule K-1 is a federal tax document used to report the income, losses, and dividends for a business' or financial entity's partners or an S corporation's shareholders.

Who prepares Schedule K-1? ›

K-1s are typically prepared by the LLC's accountant and included in the partnership's tax return, called a Form 1065.

Can K1 losses offset W2 income? ›

This is a non-cash expense that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to deduct from your taxable income, effectively creating a "paper loss." The paper loss shows up on the K-1 tax form you receive from the property and can often be used to offset your W-2 income.

Does K-1 income count against social security? ›

Remember, K-1 income from your S Corp is not subjected to self-employment taxes and therefore will not count towards your Social Security benefits basis. Conversely the tax money you save today can make excellent retirement investments which can counteract the loss in Social Security benefits.

Can I file my taxes without my K1? ›

1) K-1s Aren't Due Until March 15th

This April 15th due date makes it very challenging for taxpayers. Their individual income tax return is due the same day. You can't file your individual income tax return without your K-1s.

What disqualifies you from earned income credit? ›

In general, disqualifying income is investment income such as taxable and tax-exempt interest, dividends, child's interest and dividend income reported on the return, child's tax-exempt interest reported on Form 8814, line 1b, net rental and royalty income, net capital gain income, other portfolio income, and net ...

Who generates a K-1 tax form? ›

Form K-1, Partner's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. is a tax form issued by a partnership to its partners. An S corporation can also issue Schedule K-1s to its shareholders, a limited liability company (LLCs) to its members, or an estate or trust to its beneficiaries.

What is the difference between a 1099 and a K1? ›

K-1 vs 1099

In other words, 1099 forms are relevant for reporting the income of the partnership as a whole. Schedule K-1 is relevant to the individuals of the partnership when reporting their share of the profit or loss on their income tax return.

What if I received a K1 after I filed my taxes? ›

If you received a Schedule K-1 after filing your return, you should amend your return and enter the information from Schedule K-1 in the appropriate section of TurboTax. See this TurboTax tips article for more information on Schedule K-1, and this one for help with entering the K-1 in TurboTax.

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