In general, an S corporation does not pay a tax on its income. Instead, its income and expenses are passed through to the shareholders, who then report these items on their own income tax returns.
If you are an S corporation shareholder, your share of the corporation's current year income or loss and other tax items are taxed to you whether or not you receive any amount. Generally, those items increase or decrease the basis of your S corporation stock as appropriate. For more information on basis adjustments for S corporation stock, see Stocks and Bonds
under Basis of Investment Property
in chapter 4.
Generally, S corporation distributions, except dividend distributions, are considered a return of capital and reduce your basis in the stock of the corporation. The part of any distribution that is more than your basis is treated as a gain from the sale or exchange of property. The corporation's distributions may be in the form of cash or property.
S corporation distributions are not treated as dividends except in certain cases in which the corporation has accumulated earnings and profits from years before it became an S corporation. taxmap/pubs/p550-010.htm#en_us_publink100010153
The S corporation should send you a copy of Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S) showing your share of the S corporation's income, credits, and deductions for the tax year. You must report your distributive share of the S corporation's income, gain, loss, deductions, or credits on the appropriate lines and schedules of your Form 1040.
For more information about your treatment of S corporation tax items, see Shareholder's Instructions for Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S).taxmap/pubs/p550-010.htm#en_us_publink100010154
The deduction for your share of losses and deductions shown on Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S) is limited to the adjusted basis of your stock and any debt the corporation owes you. Any loss or deduction not allowed because of this limit is carried over and treated as a loss or deduction in the next tax year. taxmap/pubs/p550-010.htm#en_us_publink100010155
Rules apply that limit losses from passive activities. Your copy of Schedule K-1 and its instructions will explain the limits and tell you where on your return to report your share of S corporation items from passive activities. taxmap/pubs/p550-010.htm#en_us_publink100010156
If you have a passive activity loss from an S corporation, you must complete Form 8582, Passive Activity Loss Limitations, to figure the amount of the allowable loss to enter on your return. See Publication 925 for more information.