In the United States, all business corporations other than foreign ones must report their income, losses, and other financial details to the Internal Revenue Service (also known as the IRS). The basic document a domestic corporation must file is Form 1120.
If the total amount of assets exceeds 10 million USD, the corporation must attach the form under discussion — Schedule M-3 — to the tax return. It is similar to Schedule M-1 but provides more financial details. This paper includes differences in financial accounting income (loss) and taxable income (loss). It should create greater transparency between corporate financial statements and tax returns. It also assists the tax agency in identifying corporations with aggressive tax planning.
The paper consists of three parts:
This part requires information about the source of net financial income (loss) amount used in the reconciliation, financial statements, the corporation’s books, and records. You also need to indicate if you have made any adjustments or restatements.
It reconciles income and loss items of includible corporations.
This part reconciles expenses and deductions of includible corporations.
Keep in mind that corporations with assets that exceed 50 USD must complete all parts of the document. If the assets do not exceed this amount, the taxpayer can either complete all the parts or fill out Schedule M-1 instead of the second and the third parts.
Unlike Form 1120 that has undergone a great number of changes, Schedule M-3 has no considerable amendments. However, there is one thing that makes it different from the previous version — the DPAD (which stands for domestic production activities deduction) section. Some specified cooperatives can claim tax relief for the tax year that starts after 2017.
The IRS has rather strict rules regarding the way of filing Schedule M-3 and other schedules and statements. In the General Instructions for Form 1120 and its schedules, it is stated that you cannot file electronically. The only option for you is to send the form via regular mail. The address is written in the instructions.
As for the filing period, the taxpayer must submit the schedule along with Form 1120 within four months and fifteen days after your tax year ends (regardless of its type). In case you need more time to create the documents, apply for the extension of the period by submitting Form 7004. Mind that any failure to file the paper before the due date results in receiving penalties.
The most common way to find the official template is to enter the name of the form in the search section on the IRS website. Once you have pressed “Enter” or have clicked the search button, you will get a lot of links related to the form. The links will lead you not only to the form itself but also to the general instructions, which contain the basic information about the form and other attachments and help you complete it.
However, there is another option for you. If you don’t want to leave our website, you can download the form by using our advanced and automated software, specifically designed for storing lots of different legal documents and assisting people in completing them. We provide a PDF editor that allows our clients to find the latest version of the template and fill it out online (we advise you to use official forms rather than to create your own papers when dealing with tax documents). Completing the form online also allows you to check the text you enter for accuracy.
The Schedule M-3 template generated by the IRS consists of three pages. All the sections are divided into three parts. We recommend reading the IRS instructions for the form if you don’t know whether to complete this or that part.
We encourage you to read the guide below if you decide not to turn to a legal specialist to complete the form on your behalf. Legal services are rather expensive, but your mistakes can cost you much more. Thus, if you have any questions and doubts, hire a legal adviser.
Identify the Filer
At the top of the document, enter the full legal name of the corporation. If the form is sent by a consolidated group, write the name of the head company (also known as the common parent).
Besides, input the EIN (or the ID number of the employer), consisting of nine digits. The name of the section is typed in bold. Therefore, it is mandatory to fill it out. In case you don’t have an EIN, we want to remind you that the tax agency allows you to send an application form online.
Specify the Type of Your Return
In this section, select the appropriate box to indicate which type of return you are filing. There are four boxes: for corporate returns of an affiliated group, for non-consolidated returns, for mixed groups. You can also indicate that you attach a dormant subsidiary schedule.
Complete Part I
In the first part of the document, which contains three subsections, you are to provide financial information and to report the net income (loss) amount. You will find instructions on which lines you need to skip and which ones you are to fill out.
The first subsection has a small questionnaire (six questions in total) which requires that you give either the“Yes” or “No” answer. Depending on the answer you give, you are to complete or skip different lines.
In the second subsection, you must indicate the consolidated net income (or loss), which accounting standard is used, net income of different subsidiary entities, and other details. Read the instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.
The third subsection starts and ends on line 12. Here, you are required to enter the total amount of the assets and liabilities. Follow the instructions which help you understand which parts and lines you are to include or remove.
Introduce the Corporation and Subsidiary (if needed)
If you are required to complete Part II, provide basic information about the common parent and the subsidiary, which includes the full legal name and the ID of the employer. In the middle of the section, choose the relevant box.
Fill out Part II (if needed)
As we have already mentioned, it is mandatory to fill out Parts II and III if the total value of your assets is more than 50 US dollars.
In Part II, you are to write the amount of each income (or loss) item, indicate the temporary or permanent difference, reconciliation totals, and many other financial details.
Proceed to Page 3
Before you begin to complete Part III, you are to fill in the same information as was mentioned in Step 4: At the top of Page 3, write the full legal name of the corporation, check the necessary box, and enter the name of the subsidiary.
Complete Part III
Unlike Part II, the last past is devoted to expenses and deductions. However, it is similar to the previous part in its structure: it has the same columns (although some of them are named differently) and sections for each item.