Knowledge Base

10097: 1040 - K1P or K1S - Negative Basis on Basis Worksheet

1040 Individual Data Entry

Why can’t I have a negative amount for basis on a K-1? 

The IRS does not allow a negative basis.

Partner or shareholder basis may be decreased (but not below zero), for the following:

Partner Basis (1065):

  • Money and adjusted basis of property distributed.
  • Losses.
  • Nondeductible expenses.
  • Depletion for oil and gas.

Shareholder Stock Basis (1120-S):

  • Losses.
  • Separately stated items.
  • Nondeductible expenses.
  • Non-dividend distributions.
  • Depletion for oil and gas.


  • If a shareholder receives more in distributions than the shareholder has in basis, the result may be taxable.
  • Non-deductible expenses only get carried forward if the taxpayer has made the irrevocable election to take losses and deductions before non-deductible expenses by checking the box on the K1S screen > Basis Wkst (cont.) tab > Elect to take losses and deductions before non-deductible items.
    • Per the field help: "Mark this box to make the election to decrease basis by losses and deductions before nondeductible items. A shareholder may elect to decrease his or her basis for a share of separately computed items of loss, and non-separately computed loss before reducing the basis for nondeductible, noncapital expenses, and the oil and gas depletion deduction. If the shareholder makes the election, to the extent the nondeductible, non-capital expenses, and the oil and gas depletion deduction exceed the shareholder's basis, these items reduce basis in the following tax year."

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