Oops! The S Corp Filing was Wrong. Now What?


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Maybe you forgot something on your tax return, maybe you learned the law you used was wrong or maybe you forgot to include some paperwork. Whatever the reason, sooner or later, most people who “do it yourself” with their tax filings will make a mistake. For that matter, tax professionals make mistakes too. The difference is that most tax professionals have systems in place, including have you looking at the form before finalization, to make sure the return is done correctly.

Even with all of that, and with the best of intentions, mistakes sometimes happen. What then?

That’s what this person was asking at USTaxAid.com when she submitted this question:

“Forgot to mail in my husbands S Corp. along with the Florida Corporate Tax Return. It was due September 2018. We owe no money. Now what? Just mail(end). Will we get fined(?)”

I’m going to make a couple off assumptions here because I’m not 100% sure exactly which one of several errors occurred.

Assumption #1: The S Corporation election form was not mailed with the Florida return. If that’s the case, it’s possible that the IRS and Florida will not view this as a legitimate S Corporation. They’re going to want to tax you like a C Corporation.

All corporations start off their life as C Corporations. You need to make an election to be considered an S Corporation. Most states just require the federal election, but Arkansas, New Jersey and New York require a state election as well. Don’t miss that! The states can be much more unforgiving than the federal government is.

In this case, though, Florida does not have a separate requirement, so you’re okay.

If the federal S Corporation election was made online and you just neglected to send the paperwork with the corporate filing, that’s no big deal. The IRS already knows. If you haven’t yet made the election, that’s a bigger deal but chances are you can still make a late election.

If that’s the case, make that election and get it mailed with return receipt ASAP. Use Form 2553 and check the proper box (see instructions on the form) and attach a statement as to why it is late. Usually you can just say it was a miscommunication between you and your lawyer, you and your accountant or your lawyer and your accountant. You’ll want to do that right way.

Assumption #2: Maybe you neglected to send a copy of the federal Form 1120S for your S Corporation along with the Florida filing.

Don’t worry about that. Florida will ask you for it when they process your return. Just give them the return they request. I wouldn’t send it in now because it will just confuse them. Wait for them to ask.

If there is something I missed as far as assumptions on the circumstances, please leave a message here.

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