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Ask A CPA - Subchapter S Corporations

Relief For Late S Corporation Elections

A late election to be an S corporation generally is effective for the tax year following the tax year beginning on the date entered on line E of Form 2553. However, relief for a late election may be available if the corporation can show that the failure to file on time was due to reasonable cause. To request relief for a late election when the tax year beginning on the date entered on line E ends on or after December 31, 2007, a corporation that meets the following requirements can explain the reasonable cause in the designated space on page 1 of Form 2553. The corporation fails to qualify to elect to be an S corporation (see Who May Elect on page 1) solely because of the failure to timely file Form 2553. The corporation has reasonable cause for its failure to timely file Form 2553. The corporation has not filed a tax return for the tax year beginning on the date entered on line E of Form 2553. The corporation files Form 2553 as an attachment to Form 1120S no later than 6 months after the due date of Form 1120S (excluding extensions) for the tax year beginning on the date entered on line E of Form 2553. No taxpayer whose tax liability or tax return would be affected by the S corporation election (including all shareholders of the S corporation) has reported inconsistently with the S corporation election on any affected return for the tax year beginning on the date entered on line E of Form 2553. Similar relief is available for an entity eligible to elect to be treated as a corporation (see the instructions for Form 8832) electing to be treated as a corporation as of the date entered on line E of Form 2553. For more details, see Rev. Proc. 2007-62, 2007-41 I.R.B. 786. To request relief for a late election when the above requirements are not met, the corporation generally must request a private letter ruling and pay a user fee in accordance with Rev. Proc. 2008-1, 2008-1 I.R.B. 1 (or its successor). However, the ruling and user fee requirements may not apply if relief is available under the following revenue procedures. If an entity eligible to elect to be treated as a corporation (a) failed to timely file Form 2553, and (b) has not elected to be treated as a corporation, see Rev. Proc. 2004-48, 2004-32 I.R.B. 172. If a corporation failed to timely file Form 2553, see Rev. Proc. 2003-43, 2003-23 I.R.B. 998. If Form 1120S was filed without an S corporation election and neither the corporation nor any shareholder was notified by the IRS of any problem with the S corporation status within 6 months after the return was timely filed, see Rev. Proc. 97-48, 1997-43 I.R.B. 19.

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