The IRS has different filing requirements with respect to a particular entity.
Partnerships and corporations have different standards for filing an information return or income tax return.
- A domestic partnership must file an information return, unless it neither receives gross income nor pays or incurs any amount treated as a deduction or credit for federal tax purposes.
- A foreign partnership generally must file an information return if:
- It has gross income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States,
- It has gross income derived from sources in the United States, or
- It is making an election, such as an election to amortize organization expenses.
Refer to the Instructions for Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income for exceptions to filing requirements.
- A domestic corporation (including a Subchapter S corporation) must file an income tax return whether it has taxable income or not, unless it’s exempt from filing under section 501.
- A foreign corporation generally must file an income tax return if it:
- Engages in a trade or business in the United States, even if it has no income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States during the taxable year,
- Has income, gains or losses treated as if effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business and subject to taxation under subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code (relating to income taxes), or
- Doesn’t engage in a trade or business in the United States at any time during the taxable year but has U.S. source income, and the withholding at source under Chapter 3 of the Internal Revenue Code didn’t fully satisfy its taxation.
- Was, or had a branch that was, a QDD (Qualified Derivatives Dealer).
Refer to the Instructions for Form 1120-F, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation for other reasons a foreign corporation must file a return and exceptions to filing requirements.