Starting a company

The Essentials of Form 1065: Filing Your Partnership Income Tax Return

Key takeaways

  • Learn how to correctly fill out Form 1065, the United States Return of Partnership Income.
  • Learn about the qualifying requirements for filing Form 1065, including the sorts of company entities that are deemed partnerships.
  • Understand the significance of organizing and maintaining detailed records of the partnership's income, spending, and other financial information.
  • Learn about partner allocations and how to utilize Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) to record each partner's portion of income, losses, and other pertinent information.
  • Learn about any extra schedules and documents that may be necessary to accompany Form 1065 based on the unique circumstances of the partnership.
  • Understand the Form 1065 filing deadlines and the possibility of extensions by submitting Form 7004.
  • Learn about the possible advantages of pass-through taxes for partnerships, in which income and losses are passed through to individual partners.

The Form 1065 is the United States Return of Partnership Income. Partnerships use it to report their financial activity to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Partnerships are commercial entities formed when two or more people join forces to carry on a trade or business for profit.

Form 1065 is more of an informative return than a tax return. It informs the IRS about the partnership's revenue, deductions, profits, losses, and other financial information. Partnerships, including limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and some forms of limited liability corporations (LLCs) that are taxed as partnerships, must submit this form yearly.

The Importance or Advantages of Filing Form 1065

  • Partnership Taxation: Form 1065 is essential for partnerships since it allows them to record financial activities and compute taxable income. Partnerships are "pass-through" companies, which means they do not pay taxes directly. Profits, losses, deductions, and credits are instead passed through to individual partners, who report them on their tax returns (Form 1040).

  • Income and Deduction Allocation: Form 1065 allows you to divide income, deductions, and tax liabilities among partners based on the partnership agreement.

  • Compliance with Tax rules: Filing Form 1065 assures that the partnership complies with the IRS's tax rules and regulations.

Consequences of Failure to File Form 1065

  • Fines: Failure to file Form 1065 may result in IRS fines. The penalty amount may vary based on the length of the non-filing and the size of the partnership.
  • Loss of Tax Benefits: Partnerships that fail to submit Form 1065 may lose access to applicable deductions, credits, and other tax benefits.
  • Increased Scrutiny: Failure to file can raise red flags with the IRS, perhaps leading to an audit or additional investigation into the partnership's tax affairs.
  • Legal Consequences: Failure to comply with tax filing obligations may result in legal action and financial liabilities for the partnership and its participants.

Who needs to file form 1065?

Form 1065 is necessary for partnerships, including limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and some forms of limited liability corporations (LLCs) that are taxed as partnerships.

Here are the important aspects of the Form 1065 qualifying criteria: 

Business Structures- 

Infrastructure construction chip link concept
  • General Partnerships: When two or more persons or entities join together to carry on a trade or company for profit and share in the partnership's earnings, losses, and management, they must normally file Form 1065.

  • Limited Partnerships (LPs): LPs are made up of general partners who run the company and are personally accountable for the partnership's obligations, as well as limited partners who have limited responsibility and primarily provide cash. Form 1065 is normally needed for both general and limited partners.

  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs): Partnerships that have submitted the proper papers with the state to become an LLP are known as limited liability partnerships (LLPs). For tax reasons, LLPs are regarded identically to general partnerships, and they must file Form 1065.

  • Certain Limited Liability Companies (LLCs): If an LLC has two or more members and does not opt to be classified as a corporation, it is normally taxed as a partnership and must file Form 1065.

Income Levels and Variables -

Form 1065 income can comprise a variety of sources, including company revenue, rental income, interest income, dividend income, and capital gains.

There is no set income range or barrier for submitting Form 1065. All partnerships that satisfy the aforementioned conditions must file the form, regardless of their income. 

Types of Businesses and Incomes not included:

  • Sole Proprietorships: Businesses run by a single person are not considered partnerships and do not file Form 1065. Instead, sole proprietors record their company income and cost on Schedule C of their tax returns (Form 1040).
  • C companies: C companies are independent legal entities that submit their tax return (Form 1120). They are not obliged to file Form 1065.

  • S companies: S companies are a form of corporation that passes through income, deductions, and credits to its shareholders. They submit their tax return (Form 1120-S) and provide Schedule K-1 to each shareholder. They do not file Form 1065.

Things to keep in mind while filing the form 1065

Team checklist concept illustration

There are several things to remember while doing the aforementioned- 

  1. Filing Deadline: The Form 1065 filing deadline is normally March 15th, or the 15th of the third month following the conclusion of the partnership's tax year. Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, can be used to request an extension until September 15th.
  1. Accuracy and Completeness: Make certain that all information on Form 1065 is correct and full. Check all schedules and accompanying documents for correctness and double-check all calculations.
  1. Maintenance of records: Maintain well-organized records of the partnership's revenue, spending, deductions, and other financial information throughout the tax year. This will speed up the filing procedure and aid in the event of any inquiries or audits.
  1. Partner Allocations: Distribute revenue, deductions, and credits among partners following the partnership agreement. Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) should be used to give each partner their portion of the partnership's revenue, losses, and other pertinent information.
  1. Extra Schedules and Forms: Be aware of any extra schedules or forms that may be necessary in conjunction with Form 1065. Schedule B (Additional Information for Schedule M-3 Filers), Schedule L (Balance Sheets per Books), Schedule M-1 (Reconciliation of Income (Loss) per Books with Income (Loss) per Return), and Schedule M-3 (Net Income (Loss) Reconciliation for Certain Partnerships) are examples of such documents.

Form 1065 Filing Procedure:

Collect all essential information, such as the partnership's financial records, partner information, and any appropriate schedules and supporting paperwork.

  • Fill out Form 1065: Fill out Form 1065, including accurate and thorough information regarding the partnership's income, deductions, profits, and losses, as well as any other necessary facts. Include the employer identification number (EIN) of the partnership as well as the tax year being reported.

  • Attach Schedules: Include any needed schedules and paperwork, such as Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) for partner allocations and any other supplemental schedules.

  • Cross check: Check for accuracy of the completed Form 1065 and accompanying schedules before signing. Check that all relevant fields are filled out and that all calculations are correct. A general partner or an authorized person must sign a partnership agreement.

  • Make Copies: For your records, make copies of the submitted Form 1065, Schedule K-1, and all supporting papers.

Filing deadlines

The deadline for submitting Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, is usually March 15th. If the partnership's fiscal year concludes on a date other than December 31st, the deadline is the 15th day of the third month after the partnership's fiscal year ends.

If the partnership needs more time to file, it can file Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns. This extension adds six months to the filing deadline, bringing it to September 15th. It should be noted that the extension only applies to the filing deadline and not to the payment of any taxes owed. To avoid potential fines and interest, partnerships must still estimate and pay any tax amounts by the original March 15th date.

For the most up-to-date information and any particular deadline modifications or extensions that may apply in a given tax year, check the IRS website or consult a tax expert.


Finally, document 1065 is an essential tax document for partnerships to complete their tax reporting duties. Filing Form 1065 precisely and on time helps partnerships to comply with tax regulations, share revenue appropriately among partners, and ensure accurate financial reporting. Partnerships must be aware of the Form 1065 eligibility requirements, which include the sorts of company entities that come under the partnership category. It is critical to collect all relevant information, keep organized records, and complete the form accurately and completely. To handle the complexity of Form 1065 and maintain compliance with IRS laws, partnerships should obtain professional guidance or use tax software. Partnerships can effectively complete their tax requirements, divide the money among partners, and preserve financial openness by doing so. Overall, recognizing the significance of Form 1065 and rigorously following the filing requirements helps partnerships to perform their tax obligations, minimize risks, and maintain a firm foundation of IRS compliance.

We can help!

At Levy, we help early-stage founders streamline and automate regulatory and legal ops, HR, and finance so you can focus on what matters most — your business.

Like our content?

Subscribe to our blog to stay updated on new posts. Our blog covers advice, inspiration, and practical guides for early-stage founders navigating their start-up journeys.

Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

Get content like this, and more, sent directly to your inbox once a month.

Thank you for subscribing us!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


Stressing the details?

Let levy handle this for you.
Learn more
No items found.