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Instructions for Schedule C (Form 1040)

General Instructions


Other Schedules and Forms You May Have To File(p1)

Single-member limited liability company (LLC).(p2)
Generally, a single-member domestic LLC is not treated as a separate entity for federal income tax purposes. If you are the sole member of a domestic LLC, file Schedule C or C-EZ (or Schedule E or F, if applicable) unless you have elected to treat the domestic LLC as a corporation. See Form 8832 for details on making this election and for information about the tax treatment of a foreign LLC.
Single-member limited liability companies (LLCs) with employees.(p2)
A single-member LLC must file employment tax returns using the LLC's name and employer identification number (EIN) rather than the owner's name and EIN, even if the LLC is not treated as a separate entity for federal income tax purposes.
Heavy highway vehicle use tax.(p2)
If you use certain highway trucks, truck-trailers, tractor-trailers, or buses in your trade or business, you may have to pay a federal highway motor vehicle use tax. See the Instructions for Form 2290 to find out if you must pay this tax and visit for the most recent developments.
Information returns.(p2)
You may have to file information returns for wages paid to employees, certain payments of fees and other nonemployee compensation, interest, rents, royalties, real estate transactions, annuities, and pensions. See Line I, later, and the 2016 General Instructions for Certain Information Returns for details and other payments that may require you to file a Form 1099.
If you received cash of more than $10,000 in one or more related transactions in your trade or business, you may have to file Form 8300. For details, see Pub. 1544.

Business Owned and Operated by Spouses(p2)

Generally, if you and your spouse jointly own and operate an unincorporated business and share in the profits and losses, you are partners in a partnership, whether or not you have a formal partnership agreement. You generally have to file Form 1065 instead of Schedule C or C-EZ for your joint business activity; however, you may not have to file Form 1065 if either of the following applies.Otherwise, use Form 1065. See Pub. 541 for more details.

Qualified Joint Venture(p2)

You and your spouse can elect to treat an unincorporated business as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership if you:
Making the election will allow you to avoid the complexity of Form 1065, but still give each of you credit for social security earnings on which retirement benefits, disability benefits, survivor benefits, and insurance (Medicare) benefits are based. In most cases, this election will not increase the total tax owed on the joint return.
Jointly owned property.(p2)
You and your spouse must operate a business to make this election. Do not make the election for jointly owned property that is not a trade or business.
Making the election.(p2)
To make this election, divide all items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit attributable to the business between you and your spouse based on your interests in the business. Each of you must file a separate Schedule C, C-EZ, or F. Enter your share of the applicable income, deduction or (loss), on the appropriate lines of your separate Schedule C, C-EZ, or F. Each of you may also need to file a separate Schedule SE to pay self-employment tax. If the business was taxed as a partnership before you made the election, the partnership will be treated as terminating at the end of the preceding tax year. For information on how to report the termination of the partnership, see Pub. 541.
Revoking the election.(p2)
The election can be revoked only with the permission of the IRS. However, the election remains in effect only for as long as you and your spouse continue to meet the requirements to make the election. If you and your spouse fail to meet the requirements for any year, you will need to make a new election to be treated as a qualified joint venture in any future year.
Employer identification number (EIN).(p2)
You and your spouse do not need to obtain an EIN to make the election. But you may need an EIN to file other returns, such as employment or excise tax returns. To apply for an EIN, see the Instructions for Form SS-4.
Rental real estate business.(p2)
If you and your spouse make the election for your rental real estate business, you must each report your share of income and deductions on Schedule E. Rental real estate income generally is not included in net earnings from self-employment subject to self-employment tax and generally is subject to the passive loss limitation rules. Electing qualified joint venture status does not alter the application of the self-employment tax or the passive loss limitation rules.
More information.(p2)
For more information on qualified joint ventures, go to and enter “qualified joint venture” in the search box.

Community Income(p2)

If you and your spouse wholly own an unincorporated business as community property under the community property laws of a state, foreign country, or U.S. possession, you can treat your wholly-owned, unincorporated business as a sole proprietorship, instead of a partnership. Any change in your reporting position will be treated as a conversion of the entity.
Report your income and deductions as follows.

Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement(p3)

Use Form 8886 to disclose information for each reportable transaction in which you participated. Form 8886 must be filed for each tax year that your federal income tax liability is affected by your participation in the transaction. You may have to pay a penalty if you are required to file Form 8886 but do not do so. You may also have to pay interest and penalties on any reportable transaction understatements. The following are reportable transactions.
See the Instructions for Form 8886 for more details.

Capital Construction Fund(p3)

Do not claim on Schedule C or C-EZ the deduction for amounts contributed to a capital construction fund set up under chapter 535 of title 46 of the United States Code. Instead, reduce the amount you would otherwise enter on Form 1040, line 43, by the amount of the deduction. Next to line 43, enter CCF and the amount of the deduction. For details, see Pub. 595.

Additional Information(p3)

See Pub. 334 for more information for small businesses.