Important Dates for Tax Preparation

Gosh, if there’s one thing you notice as soon as you start running a business, it’s the never-ending string of tax return due dates you have to monitor and remember and worry about. The large number of dates can almost overwhelm you.

For this reason, consider printing off his webpage and posting it next to your desk. It’ll summarize all of the federal tax return due dates you need to watch out for.

Some quick comments: First, if the “normal” date falls on a weekend day or holiday, the due date moves forward to the next regular work day. For example, if April 15th is a tax return due date but that day falls on a Saturday, the “adjusted” due date becomes Monday, April 17th. Second, in most states, you will have similar (sometimes identical) state tax return due dates.

January 15th
The final and fourth estimated income tax payment is due for individuals and corporations on a calendar accounting year.
January 31st
1099 information returns (which typically report income paid to vendors) are supposed to be sent by this date. W-2s should be sent to employees by this date. Also, the Federal Unemployment Tax (or FUTA) 940 return is also due by this date.
February 28th
1099 statements (with a cover 1096 transmittal sheet) are due to the Internal Revenue Service. Furthermore, W-2 annual earnings statements (with a cover W-3 transmittal sheet) are due to the Social Security Administration.
March 15th
Calendar year corporations (including Subchapter S corporations, homeowners associations taxed as corporations on a form 1120H, and LLCs which have elected to be treated as S corporations) should either file the corporation income tax return by this date, or they should file a 7004 extension request by this date. Note: The 2553 Subchapter S election request is also “technically” due by March 15th too, though the IRS seems to accept almost any excuse these days including “my dog ate the form.”
April 15th
Individual 1040 tax returns, calendar year partnership 1065 tax returns, and calendar year 1041 trust and estate returns due by April 15th. First quarter estimated tax payment due for individuals and calendar year corporations. Note: Individuals can usually extend the tax return due date (but not the payment of tax due) to October 15th by filing a 4858 extension form by April 15th. Partnerships, trusts and estates can extend the tax return due date to September 15th by filing a 7004 extension form by April 15th.
April 30th
Federal 941 quarterly payroll tax return due. Note that in most cases, you need to deposit the payroll taxes withheld from employee paychecks long before you file the 941 return.
June 15th
Second quarter estimated tax payment due for individuals and calendar year corporations.
July 31st
Federal 941 quarterly payroll tax return due. (This is for the second quarter obviously.)
September 15th
Calendar year corporation, partnership, trust and estate returns which have been extended earlier in the year are due on September 15th. Note that if these entities have K-1s to send shareholders, partners or beneficiaries, these informational returns need to be sent out at this time, too.
October 15th
Extended individual tax returns finally due.
October 31st
Federal 941 quarterly payroll tax return due for third quarter.