Form 1120S Penalties and Interest

Form 1120S (US Income Tax Return for an S Corporation) is used to report the income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and related items, for any tax year covered, of a domestic corporation or other entity that elects to be treated as an S corporation by filing Form 2553. If the IRS accepts the election, Form 1120S must be filed as long as the election remains in effect.

This article will examine the penalties and interest that may be applied for failure to comply with the rules and regulations concerning the filing of Form 1120S when required. The penalties can be severe in some instances, so taxpayers subject to the requirements of the form should take notice of them.

There are numerous penalty and interest provisions that apply to the requirements of Form 1120S.

Late Filing of a Return

A penalty may be imposed if a return is filed after the applicable due date (including extensions), or if the return does not report all of the required information required, unless the failure to comply is due to reasonable cause.

For returns on which no tax liability is owed, the late filing penalty as of the time of this writing is $195 for each month (or part of a month), up to 12 months that the return is late or does not include the necessary information, multiplied by the total number of persons who were shareholders in the corporation for the tax year (during any part of the corporation’s tax year) in which the return is due. If a tax is due, this same penalty mechanism will be applied, plus a 5% penalty on the unpaid tax for each month (or part of a month) that the return is late. The maximum penalty will be capped at 25% of the unpaid tax. The minimum penalty for a return that is due, and more than 60 days late, is the lesser of the tax owed or $135.

Taxpayers who claim that the failure to timely file was due to reasonable cause must include an attached explanation with the return.

Late Payment of Tax

In general, a corporation that has a tax liability, but does not pay the tax when due, may be penalized ½ of 1% of the unpaid tax for each month (or part of a month) that the tax is unpaid. The late payment penalty is capped at a maximum of 25% of the unpaid tax. As with the failure to file penalty, taxpayers may be able to prevent or limit the imposition of the late payment penalty, provided that reasonable cause can be demonstrated.

Failure to Timely Furnish Information

A $100 penalty may be imposed for each failure to furnish a Schedule K-1 to a shareholder when due and/or for each failure to include on Schedule K-1 all required and accurate information. The penalty is applied to each Schedule K-1 for which a failure occurs. If a taxpayer intentionally disregards the requirement to report correct information, the penalty for each failure is increased to the greater of $250 or 10% of the aggregate amount of items required to be reported.

A reasonable cause exception is also available for this penalty.

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

A trust fund recovery penalty may be imposed on all persons, including S-corporations, who are responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over various trust fund taxes (including certain excise, income, social security, and Medicare taxes) and who acted willfully in failing to collect, withhold, and/or pay such taxes (the IRS may determine who is responsible for such requirements). Such taxes are typically reported on various forms, including Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return), Form 941 (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return), Form 944 (Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return), and Form 945 (Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax), among others.

The trust fund recovery penalty imposed is equal to the full amount of the unpaid trust fund tax.

Other Potential Penalties

Penalties can also be imposed for Form 1120S purposes under IRC sections 6662 (Imposition of accuracy-related penalty on underpayments), 6662A (Imposition of accuracy-related penalty on understatements with respect to reportable transactions), and 6663 (Imposition of fraud penalty).


In addition to the penalties described above, interest can be charged for failure to comply with various Form 1120S requirements.

Interest will be charged on taxes that are paid late even if a taxpayer is granted an extension of time to file. Interest can also charged on penalties imposed as a result of failure to file, fraud, negligence, substantial valuation misstatements, substantial tax understatements, and reportable transaction understatements from the due date (including extensions) to the date of actual payment. See IRC section 6621 and regulations for the applicable interest rates charged relating to such penalties.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office For Legal Help With 1120S Penalties

Whether you are facing substantial 1120S penalties, looking for proper tax planning to avoid such penalties, or just need assistance to comply with 1120S tax requirements, please contact Sherayzen Law Office.  Our experienced tax firm will guide you through the complex maze of the corporate tax law, provide rigorous IRS representation in disputing the penalties, and help you create and implement a creative ethical tax plan.