Starting a company

Decoding Form 8832: Entity Classification Election

Key takeaways

  • Learn how to identify the entity's tax status to determine whether it will be taxed as a disregarded entity, partnership, or corporation.
  • Learn about the eligibility requirements for eligible entities, such as domestic LLCs with two or more members or single-member LLCs that desire to be taxed as a corporation.
  • Recognize the significance of the filing deadline, which states that you must submit within 75 days of the entity's creation or planned effective date, or at any time later, to be effective for the current or future tax year.
  • Learn about the impact on tax responsibilities and how the entity is taxed, including income, deductions, and distributions for federal tax purposes.
  • Understand the influence of federal tax classification on state taxes. 
  • Learn about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filing process. 

Form 8832 is an IRS tax form used to select the federal tax classification of an eligible organization, such as a limited liability corporation (LLC). By submitting this form, the entity can elect to be taxed as a disregarded entity, partnership, or corporation.

The Importance and Advantages of Filing Form 8832:

  • Tax categorization authority: Filing Form 8832 gives the entity authority over its tax categorization. This can substantially impact the entity's tax liabilities, deductions, and overall tax strategy.

  • Flexibility and adaptability: The form allows the entity to select a tax categorization that matches its company structure, goals, and long-term ambitions. It enables you to maximize tax benefits or fulfill certain legal or financial constraints.

  • Liability Protection: Filing Form 8832 to opt for corporate tax classification (C Corporation) can offer the entity's owners limited liability protection, isolating their assets from company debts and liabilities.

  • Access to Tax advantages: Different tax classes have different tax advantages, deductions, or credits available to them. Completing Form 8832 ensures that the organization is eligible for applicable tax benefits and optimizes its tax situation.

Consequences of Failure to File Form 8832:

  • If an eligible entity fails to file Form 8832, it will be assigned the default tax categorization depending on the number of members. For tax reasons, an LLC with several members is recognized as a partnership, whereas a single-member LLC is taxed as a disregarded business.

  • Tax Consequences: The entity's desired tax treatment may differ from the default tax classification, potentially resulting in unfavorable tax liabilities, deduction restrictions, or missing tax advantages.

  • Legal Consequences: Failure to submit Form 8832 may result in legal issues or discrepancies in how the organization is considered for tax and legal reasons, potentially compromising liability protection, contractual agreements, or state regulatory compliance.

  • Inflexibility: If Form 8832 is not filed, the entity may be constrained in its capacity to change its tax classification in the future. This might limit the entity's tax planning options or make reacting to changing business circumstances more difficult.

Who needs to file form 8832?

Eligible organizations that want to elect their tax categorization for federal tax purposes must complete Form 8832. Form 8832 applies to the following company structures:

Business Structures

  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs): Single-member and multi-member LLCs can submit Form 8832 to select their tax classification.
  • Partnerships, including general partnerships, limited partnerships (LPs), and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), can choose their tax classification using Form 8832.
  • Sole Proprietorships and Single-Member LLCs: Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs can utilize Form 8832 to elect a tax classification other than the default disregarded entity classification.

Income Levels and Variables

Regarding income kinds and income ranges or thresholds, there are no particular criteria or constraints connected to the types of income or income ranges for filing Form 8832. The form is primarily concerned with selecting the tax categorization independent of the organization's source or degree of revenue.

Types of Businesses and Incomes not included:

  • Corporations: Because they are already recognized as corporations for tax purposes, regular C companies cannot submit Form 8832.
  • Sole Proprietorships Without an LLC: If a firm runs as a sole proprietorship without incorporating an LLC, it is deemed a disregarded entity by default and does not need to submit Form 8832.

  • S companies: S companies are taxed differently and are not required to file Form 8832. They must instead file Form 2553 to elect S company status.

  • Trusts and Estates: Trusts and estates cannot submit Form 8832. They have their own set of tax regulations and classifications.

How do I file form 8832?

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Follow these step-by-step instructions to file Form 8832:

  • Get the Form: Download Form 8832 from the IRS's official website ( or request a copy from the IRS by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

  • Collect the Required Information: Gather the information needed to complete the form. This comprises the entity's name, address, Employer Identification Number (EIN), formation or acquisition date, and intended effective date of the tax classification election.

  • Select a Tax Classification: Determine the tax classification (disregarded entity, partnership, or corporation) that best meets the needs of your entity and, if required, consult with a tax specialist.

  • Fill out Form 8832: Fill complete the form by submitting the required information in the appropriate fields. Carefully follow the directions on the form. To minimize delays or problems, ensure correctness and completeness.

  • Signature and Consent: An authorized individual within the entity must sign and date the form. This individual should be permitted to decide on behalf of the entity. Additional approval from entity members may be necessary in some instances.

  • Attachments (If Applicable): Include any mandatory attachments, such as a statement explaining why the election was made after the 75-day window from the entity's formation date if the election is made after the 75-day window from the entity's formation date.

  • Select a Filing Method: Choose whether to submit the form electronically or by mail. Electronic filing is often more efficient and convenient. On its website, the IRS gives guidelines for electronic filing. Use the address provided in the form's instructions if sending the form.

  • Make a Copy: Before sending Form 8832 to the IRS, copy the completed form and all supporting papers for your keeping.

  • Submit the Form: If filing electronically, follow the IRS's electronic filing procedures. If sending the form, submit it to the IRS address included in the form's instructions. Ensure you have enough postage and consider sending it by certified mail for evidence of delivery.

  • Following up: Give the IRS enough time to process the paperwork. You can verify the progress of your filing by calling the IRS directly if necessary.

Form 8832 instructions

Closeup of entrepreneur making notes in document

You will need the following information, documents, and instructions for filing Form 8832:

1. Information about the entity:

  • The legal name of the organization
  • Address of the entity (containing street, city, state, and ZIP code)

2. The entity's Employer Identification Number (EIN) Entity Type:

  • Determine the type of entity for which you are filing the form (for example, an LLC or a partnership). 

3. Tax Classification Election:

  • Choose the entity's tax classification: disregarded entity, partnership, or corporation.

4. Date of Inception:

  • Set the tax classification election's effective date. It might be the entity's formation or acquisition date or a future date. Check that it is within the timeframe allowed.

5. Signature:

  • An authorized person with the power to make the election on behalf of the entity must sign and date the form. Please provide their name and title.

6. Consent :

  • In some situations, extra approval from entity members or shareholders may be necessary for the election. The structure of the organization and the intended tax categorization determine this.

7. Attachments :

  • In a few cases, you are required to provide supporting documentation. For example, if you file the form after the 75-day deadline, you may need to explain the late submission.

8. Filing Procedure:

  • Choose whether to submit the form electronically or through mail. If filing electronically, follow the IRS's electronic filing instructions. Use the address provided in the form's instructions if sending the form.

9. Recordkeeping:

  • Keep a copy of the completed Form 8832 and all supporting documentation for your records. This will be used to document the election and its effective date.

For further information, please see the official instructions included with Form 8832. The instructions detail particular criteria, define terms, and give extra information on completing and submitting the form. The instructions are available on the IRS website ( or by phoning 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

Filing deadlines

The effective date of the tax classification election and whether the option is for the current or future tax year affect the Form 8832 filing deadline. The general filing deadlines are as follows:

1. Initial Classification Selection:

If the entity wants the election to take effect on the day it was established or acquired, the form must be filed by the 15th day of the third month after that day.

For example, if the entity was established on January 1, the form must be filed by March 15 of the same year.

2. Election for Late Classification:

If the entity wishes for the election to take effect from the day it was created or acquired but files the form after the 15th day of the third month, it will be regarded as a late election.

A late election usually is effective from the start of the tax year chosen on the form as long as the form is filed within 75 days after the entity's establishment or acquisition.

For example, if the entity was founded on January 1 and the form was filed on April 15 of the same year, the election would take effect on January 1.

3. Future Start Date:

If the entity wishes for the election to be effective for a future tax year, the form must be filed by the 15th of the third month preceding the desired effective date.

For example, if the entity wants the election to be effective for the tax year beginning January 1 of the following year, it must complete the form by March 15 of the current year.

Filing cost 

Accountant calculating profit with financial analysis graphs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determines the filing fee for Form 8832, which is subject to change. There is no particular price related to filing Form 8832 itself. As of my understanding the deadline is in September 2021. However, other expenditures, such as professional fees, should be considered if you seek assistance from a tax expert or an attorney to prepare and file the form.

While the form does not have a filing fee, it's advisable to stay updated with the current IRS guidelines or consult the IRS website ( to confirm any changes to the filing cost or associated fees. Additionally, it's recommended to consider any potential costs in obtaining professional advice or services to ensure accurate completion and submission of the form.

8832 tax form: tips for startups

Here are some pointers for startups when it comes to Form 8832, the tax form used to elect an eligible entity's tax classification:

  • Recognize the Importance: Startups should understand the value of correctly electing the tax categorization. It may influence their tax liabilities, deductions, and overall tax strategy.
  • Seek specialist Advice: Speak with a tax specialist or attorney specializing in business taxes. They may offer advice customized to your startup's unique needs and assist you in making educated decisions.
  • Plan ahead: Choose the best tax categorization for your business early on. Consider the entity's structure, finance strategies, growth projections, and long-term objectives.
  • Assess Tax Implications: Understand the tax implications of each tax categorization choice. Consider how your chosen categorization will affect your startup's income, deductions, and possible access to tax advantages.
  • Keep in Mind State laws: While Form 8832 deals with federal tax categorization, it is critical to be aware of state-specific laws and regulations. Some states may have their tax classification forms or rules.
  • Document Your Choice: Maintain accurate documentation of the tax classification choice. Keep a copy of Form 8832, supporting papers, and permission granted by entity members or shareholders.
  • Timely submission: Keep in mind the Form 8832 submission dates. Failure to submit within the deadline might result in missed opportunities or default tax categorization, which may not correspond with the aims of your business.
  • Consider Future Changes: As your business grows, consider if it may need to change its tax categorization. Changes in ownership, finance, or corporate structure may necessitate reassessing the tax categorization and resubmitting Form 8832.


Finally, document 8832 is a crucial tax document for startups and other qualifying organizations to use when determining their tax categorization. Startups may make educated decisions to optimize their tax status and fulfill company goals by knowing the filing procedure, perks, and ramifications. All essential factors are seeking expert assistance, planning, and adhering to filing deadlines. Startups may construct a favorable tax structure and put themselves up for financial success by successfully navigating Form 8832.

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