Tax Deadlines – Keeping Up With What To Do and When

With the flurry of tax deadlines occurring in the first few months of the year, it is difficult to keep track of what needs to be done and when. In order to help you effectively comply, we offer the following list of tax “to do’s” from January through April:

  • January 15th – Fourth Quarter Estimated Tax Payments Due  Fourth quarter estimated tax payments for individual and many estate and trust taxpayers are due on this date. The IRS and state taxing authorities have safe harbor minimum tax amounts that are due during the year; if the last installment of those minimum amounts is not paid by this date, then penalty and interest will be due when the tax is eventually paid.
  • February 2nd – Give Forms W-2 and 1099 to Required Recipients; Employer Payroll Tax Returns Due  Businesses are required to give Forms W-2 (employee wage statements) and 1099 (payments to independent contractors and other required parties) to required recipients by this date. Failure to meet these deadlines can be particularly costly to businesses because penalties are based on the number of delinquent returns, and each form is considered a separate return. Additionally, federal and state payroll tax returns are due on this date.
  • March 2nd – Forms W-2 and 1099 (and Transmittal Forms) Due to Taxing Authorities  Businesses are required to file Forms W-2 and 1099 along with the appropriate summary forms to federal and state taxing authorities by this date. Again, late filing can be costly if the volume of forms is high.
  • March 16th – Corporate Income Tax Returns Due  Businesses that operate as C corporations or as S corporations must either file their income tax returns or 6-month extensions to file those returns by March 16th. State taxing authorities generally follow IRS filing guidelines, but it is important to confirm each state’s filing requirements and deadlines to ensure compliance.
  • April 15th – Individual, Partnership and Fiduciary Tax Returns Due  The most famous (or infamous) of all tax deadlines, April 15th is the due date for the highest volume of tax returns, by far. Individual tax returns (or 6-month extensions to file) are due on this date, and any taxes owed are also due at this time. One important note is that your unpaid taxes for the prior year are due on this date even if you extend your filing date by six months; therefore, if you extend your return, you must accurately estimate and pay (or overpay) your tax obligation in order to avoid penalties and interest. April 15th is also the filing deadline for partnership returns (including most limited liability entities) and most estate and trust income tax returns. A 5-month filing extension may be made – those extensions are also due on this date. Again, state taxing authorities generally follow the federal calendar, but not always, so if you file in multiple states, check the rules to make sure you know what forms and taxes are due and when.
  • April 15th – First Quarter Estimated Tax Payments Due  As if it is not enough that you have to write checks to wrap up your prior year tax obligations on April 15th, you may also be required to make a federal and/or state estimated tax payment on this same day covering first quarter income on which no income tax has been withheld. As mentioned previously, the IRS and most states have minimum amounts of tax that must be paid during the year in order to avoid penalty assessments. These amounts generally must be paid as income is earned throughout the year. Check with us to determine how these rules apply to you. April 15th also marks the first quarter payment deadline for calendar year-end estates, trusts, and C corporations.
  • April 30th – First Quarter Payroll Tax Returns Due  The last of the big deadlines occurring in April is the filing of first quarter payroll tax returns with federal and state taxing authorities. Payment of the various tax obligations of an employer (taxes withheld from employee wages and other business payroll taxes) are generally due more frequently than the filing of these returns, so be sure that you are meeting the payment deadlines as mandated by the frequency and amounts of your payroll. Failure to meet those mandates can result in huge penalty assessments.

Taxpayer compliance requires careful attention and budgeting in order meet the various filing and payment deadlines mandated by our tax system. If you have any questions about how these deadlines apply to you, please contact our office.