26 CFR 1.6031(a)-1 - Return of partnership income.
(a) Domestic partnerships -
(1) Return required. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3) and (c) of this section, every domestic partnership must file a return of partnership income under section 6031 (partnership return) for each taxable year on the form prescribed for the partnership return. The partnership return must be filed for the taxable year of the partnership regardless of the taxable years of the partners. For taxable years of a partnership and of a partner, see section 706 and § 1.706-1. For the rules governing partnership statements to partners and nominees, see § 1.6031(b)-1T. For the rules requiring the disclosure of certain transactions, see § 1.6011-4T.
(2) Content of return. The partnership return must contain the information required by the prescribed form and the accompanying instructions.
(3) Special rule.
(i) A partnership that has no income, deductions, or credits for federal income tax purposes for a taxable year is not required to file a partnership return for that year.
(ii) The Commissioner may, in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter), provide for an exception to partnership reporting under section 6031 and for conditions for the exception, if all or substantially all of a partnership's income is derived from the holding or disposition of tax-exempt obligations (as defined in section 1275(a)(3) and § 1.1275-1(e)) or shares in a regulated investment company (as defined in section 851(a)) that pays exempt-interest dividends (as defined in section 852(b)(5)).
(4) Failure to file. For the consequences of a failure to comply with the requirements of section 6031(a) and this paragraph (a), see sections 6229(a), 6231(f), 6698, and 7203.
(b) Foreign partnerships -
(1) General rule.
(i) Filing requirement. A foreign partnership is not required to file a partnership return, if the foreign partnership does not have gross income that is (or is treated as) effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States (ECI) and does not have gross income (including gains) derived from sources within the United States (U.S.-source income). Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, a foreign partnership that has ECI or has U.S.-source income that is not ECI must file a partnership return for its taxable year in accordance with the rules for domestic partnerships in paragraph (a) of this section.
(ii) Special rule. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(1) and paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, a foreign partnership will not be considered to have derived income from sources within the United States solely because a U.S. partner marks to market his pro rata share of PFIC stock held by the foreign partnership pursuant to an election under section 1296.
(2) Foreign partnerships with de minimis U.S.-source income and de minimis U.S. partners. A foreign partnership (other than a withholding foreign partnership, as defined in § 1.1441-5(c)(2)(i)) that has $20,000 or less of U.S.-source income and has no ECI during its taxable year is not required to file a partnership return if, at no time during the partnership taxable year, one percent or more of any item of partnership income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit is allocable in the aggregate to direct United States partners. The United States partners must directly report their shares of the allocable items of partnership income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit.
(3) Filing obligations for certain other foreign partnerships with no ECI -
(i) General requirements for modified filing obligations. A foreign partnership will be subject to the modified filing obligations in paragraphs (b)(3)(ii) and (iii) of this section if, in addition to satisfying the requirements contained in paragraphs (b)(3)(ii) and (iii) of this section -
(A) The partnership is not a withholding foreign partnership as defined in § 1.1441-5(c)(2)(i);
(B) Forms 1042 and 1042-S are filed by the partnership with respect to the amounts subject to reporting under § 1.1461-1(b) and (c), unless the partnership is not required to file such returns under § 1.1461-1(b)(2) and (c)(4), in which case Forms 1042 and 1042-S must be filed by another withholding agent or agents; and
(C) The tax liability of the partners with respect to such amounts has been fully satisfied by the withholding of tax at the source, if applicable, under chapter 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(ii) Foreign partnerships with U.S.-source income but no U.S. partners. A foreign partnership that has U.S.-source income is not required to file a partnership return if the partnership has no ECI and no United States partners at any time during the partnership's taxable year.
(iii) Foreign partnerships with U.S.-source income and U.S. partners. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a foreign partnership with one or more United States partners that has U.S.-source income but no ECI must file a partnership return. However, such a foreign partnership need not file Statements of Partner's Share of Income, Credit, Deduction, etc. (Schedules K-1) for any partners other than its direct United States partners and its passthrough partners (whether U.S. or foreign) through which United States partners hold an interest in the foreign partnership. Schedules K-1 that are not excepted from filing under this paragraph (b)(3)(iii) must contain the same information required of a domestic partnership filing under paragraph (a) of this section.
(4) Information or returns required of partners who are United States persons -
(i) In general. If a United States person is a partner in a partnership that is not required to file a partnership return, the district director or director of the relevant service center may require that person to render the statements or provide the information necessary to verify the accuracy of the reporting by that person of any items of partnership income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit.
(ii) Controlled foreign partnerships. Certain United States persons who are partners in a foreign partnership controlled (within the meaning of section 6038(e)(1)) by United States persons may be required to provide information with respect to the partnership under section 6038.
(5) Certain partnership elections. For a partnership that is not otherwise required to file a partnership return, if an election that can only be made by the partnership under section 703 (affecting the computation of taxable income derived from a partnership) is to be made by or for the partnership, a return on the form prescribed for the partnership return must be filed for the partnership. Unless otherwise provided in the form or the accompanying instructions, a return filed solely to make an election need only contain a written statement citing paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section, listing the name and address of the partnership making the election, and clearly identifying the specific election being made. A return filed under paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section solely to make an election is not a partnership return. Thus, such a return is not a return filed under section 6031(a) for purposes of sections 6501 (except regarding the specific election issue), 6231(a)(1)(A), and 6233. The return must be signed by -
(i) Each partner that is a partner in the partnership at the time the election is made; or
(ii) Any partner of the partnership who is authorized (under local law or the partnership's organizational documents) to make the election and who represents to having such authorization under penalties of perjury.
(6) Exclusion for certain organizations. The return requirement of section 6031 and this section does not apply to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, the International Maritime Satellite Organization, or any organization that is a successor of either.
(c) Partnerships excluded from the application of subchapter K of the Internal Revenue Code -
(1) Wholly excluded -
(i) Year of election. An eligible partnership as described in § 1.761-2(a) that elects to be excluded from all the provisions of subchapter K of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code in the manner specified by § 1.761-2(b)(2)(i) must timely file the form prescribed for the partnership return for the taxable year for which the election is made. In lieu of the information otherwise required, the return must contain or be accompanied by the information required by § 1.761-2(b)(2)(i).
(ii) Subsequent years. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section, an eligible partnership that elects to be wholly excluded from the application of subchapter K is not required to file a partnership return.
(2) Deemed excluded. An eligible partnership that is deemed to have elected exclusion from the application of subchapter K beginning with its first taxable year, as specified in § 1.761-2(b)(2)(ii), is not required to file a partnership return.
(d) Definitions -
(1) Partnership. For the meaning of the term partnership, see § 1.761-1(a).
(2) United States person. In applying this section, a United States person is a person described in section 7701(a)(30); the government of the United States, a State, or the District of Columbia (including an agency or instrumentality thereof); or a corporation created or organized in Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, if the requirements of section 881(b)(1)(A), (B), and (C) are met for such corporation. The term does not include an alien individual who is a resident of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or American Samoa, as determined under § 301.7701(b)-1(d) of this chapter.
(3) United States partner. In applying this section, a United States partner is any United States person who holds a direct or indirect interest in the partnership.
(4) Indirect interest. An indirect interest is any interest held through one or more passthrough partners, as defined in section 6231(a)(9).
(e) Procedural requirements -
(1) Place for filing. The return of a partnership must be filed with the service center prescribed in the relevant IRS revenue procedure, publication, form, or instructions to the form (see § 601.601(d)(2)).
(2) Time for filing. The return of a partnership must be filed on or before the fifteenth day of the fourth month following the close of the taxable year of the partnership.
(3) Magnetic media filing. For magnetic media filing requirements with respect to partnerships, see section 6011(e)(2) and the regulations thereunder.
(f) Effective dates. This section applies to taxable years of a partnership beginning after December 31, 1999, except that -
(1) Paragraph (b)(3) of this section applies to taxable years of a foreign partnership beginning after December 31, 2000; and
(2) Paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section applies to taxable years of a partnership beginning on or after November 5, 2003.