What Schedule C (Form 1040) Is & Who Has to File It in 2021

If you freelance, have a side gig, run a small business or otherwise work for yourself, you may need to file a Schedule C at tax time. Here's how it works.
Tina OremMay 4, 2021
What Is Schedule C on Form 1040 and Who Has to File It?

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If you freelance, have a side gig, run a small business or otherwise work for yourself, you may need to fill out IRS Schedule C at tax time. Here’s a simple explainer of what IRS Schedule C is for, who has to file one and some tips and tricks that could save money and time.

IRS Schedule C is a tax form for reporting profit or loss from a business. You fill out Schedule C at tax time and attach it to or file it electronically with . Schedule C is typically for people who operate sole proprietorships or single-member LLCs.

A Schedule C is not the same as , though you may need IRS Form 1099 (a  in particular) in order to fill out a Schedule C.

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Schedule C is for two types of businesses: sole proprietors or single-member limited liability corporations (LLCs). Schedule C is not for C corporations or S corporations.

You may have to file a Schedule C even if you have a regular day job where you’re someone’s employee. So if you’re freelancing on the side, your self-employment means you’ll probably need to add the Schedule C to your to-do list.

Schedule C is a place to report the revenue from your business, as well as all the types of expenses you incurred to run your business. Your business income minus your business expenses is your net profit (or loss). You report your net profit as income on Form 1040.

Here's some information you’ll need:

Here's the basic structure of Schedule C:

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