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.

And let me also at this point share three 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 15 is a tax return due date but that day falls on a Saturday, the "adjusted" due date becomes Monday, April 17.

A second quick point: In most states, you have similar (sometimes identical) state tax return due dates.

Finally a third awkward point: I've had this list of dates up at this website for years now and one of the things that has been really sort of discouraging is how many people have decided to copy and paste this page onto their site. Please don't do that. We do look for plagiarism of the site's content and basically automatically report our allegations of copyright infringements to the major search engines under their "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" procedures. Sorry to bring this up, but it's become a bit of a sore point.

Enough rambling. Here are the due dates by month:

January:

1/15 - The final and fourth estimated income tax payment is due for individuals and corporations on a calendar accounting year.

1/31 - 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:

2/28 - 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:

3/15 - 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 15 too though the IRS seems to accept almost any excuse these days including "my dog ate the form."

April:

4/15 - Individual 1040 tax returns, calendar year partnership 1065 tax returns, and calendar year 1041 trust and estate returns due by April 15. 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 15 by filing a 4858 extension form by April 15. Partnerships, trusts and estates can extend the tax return due date to September 15 by filing a 7004 extension form by April 15.

4/30 - 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.

May:

No tax return due dates for calendar year taxpayers (typically).

June:

6/15 - Second quarter estimated tax payment due for individuals and calendar year corporations.

July:

7/31 - Federal 941 quarterly payroll tax return due. (This is for the second quarter obviously.)

August:

No tax return due dates for calendar taxpayers (typically).

September:

9/15 - Calendar year corporation, partnership, trust and estate returns which have been extended earlier in the year are due on September 15. 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:

10/15 - Extended individual tax returns finally due.

10/31 - Federal 941 quarterly payroll tax return due for third quarter.

November:

No tax return due dates for calendar year taxpayers (typically).

December:

No tax return due dates for calendar year taxpayers (typically).

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Additional Tax Information for Small Businesses

This website provides hundreds, maybe even thousands of pages of free information covering topics like small business and individual taxes, financial and business planning, and general accounting. But I also sell three, modestly priced and instantly downloadable e-books with additional, more specialized information (see descriptions that follow). Each book, by the way, covers tricks and techniques that should easily save a small business or investor thousands of dollars annually.

The most powerful tactic for saving small business taxes? Often, simply arranging your affairs to maximize deductions produces giant annual savings. Read More

Operating or planning to operate your firm as an S corporation? The trick here is setting the right shareholder salary. But finding the sweet spot is tough. Read More

Real estate investment in this tough economy produces pretty good returns. But savvy tax planning can boost your profits by thousands of dollars annually. Read More