What is Schedule B: Interest and Ordinary Dividends?

IRS Schedule B is a tax schedule that helps American taxpayers compute income tax due on interest and dividends earned. This schedule uses information from Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV to populate the correct figures into your 1040 tax return.

Key Takeaways

  • Schedule B is an IRS tax form that must be completed if a taxpayer has received interest income and/or ordinary dividends over the course of the year.
  • Schedule B is also used to report less common forms of interest or corporate distributions to individuals.
  • Widely available tax software will include schedule B and automate its calculations so they appear correctly on your 1040.

Who Must File Schedule B: Interest and Ordinary Dividends?

Taxpayers in the U.S. who receive more than $1,500 in taxable interest and/or ordinary dividends during the year are required to fill out IRS Form Schedule B, which accompanies IRS form 1040.

Schedule B requires the taxpayer to provide the name of each payer (such as an investment firm or bank) and the amount of interest or dividends received from each payer. The information taxpayers must report on form Schedule B is typically reported to the IRS by the payer, with a copy sent to the taxpayer, using form 1099-INT for interest and form 1099-DIV for dividends. Taxpayers must report the interest and dividends they receive to the IRS because these sources of income are taxable.

Where Can You Get Schedule B: Interest and Ordinary Dividends?

All versions of Schedule B are available on the IRS website. 

Schedule B should not be used to report any tax-exempt interest shown on Form 1099-INT; that information should be reported on Form 1040.

Schedule B (2020)
Schedule B (2020).

Special Considerations When Filing Schedule B

Other, less common reasons why taxpayers might need to fill out a Schedule B include the following:

  • To report interest income received from a seller-financed mortgage where the borrower uses the property as their personal residence.
  • To report accrued bond interest.
  • To report a bond’s original issue discount in an amount less than what is reported on Form 1099-OID.
  • To reduce interest income on a bond by the amount of the bond’s amortizable premium.
  • To claim an exclusion of interest from series EE or series I U.S. savings bonds issued after 1989.
  • To report interest or ordinary dividends received as a nominee (on behalf of someone else).
  • To report a financial interest in, or signature authority over, a foreign account.
  • To report a distribution from, being grantor of, or transferor to, a foreign trust.

The Bottom Line

Many taxpayers will need a schedule B simply from keeping a bank account that credits interest on deposits over the course of a year. Investors may also receive dividends from time to time. Tax software can simplify the process of determining whether Schedule B is required and completing the form correctly if it is required. The totals from Schedule B are transferred to form 1040, where they are included in the computation of taxable income.

Some of the circumstances that require a taxpayer to file Schedule B also require the filing of other forms. For example, taxpayers with foreign accounts or trusts may be required to submit Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets.