The Guide to Tax Filing Deadlines

The IRS not only wants their fair share of your income, but they want it on time! As witnessed by the exodus of cars at the post office every April 15th, the IRS has strict regulations and deadlines regarding small business tax filings. If you prepare your own small business taxes, use this handy guide to reference important tax filing deadlines.

Annual Filing Deadline

The annual deadline for all taxes, including small business taxes, is April 15. From the start of the year, you have three and a half months to prepare all your previous year’s tax information, including all income, expenses, and deductions.

It is not uncommon to see some small business owners scramble in April to find all their previous year’s receipts and deposit statements, as well as remember all the tax deductions for which they are eligible. You can avoid this stress and possible late filing fees by being organized. Keep all receipts, bank statements, and any other important tax documentation in a file to be ready in one place when you sit down to prepare your taxes.

Quarterly Estimated Tax Filing

If you are self employed in your small business, then you are required to submit quarterly estimated tax returns. Those dates, in addition to the annual April 15 deadline, are July 15, October 15, and January 15. You must file and pay an estimated tax in relation to your previous year’s actual taxes, or in accordance to your actual income for the quarter.

You can do these filings yourself, or hire a tax professional to keep you reminded and complete the filing for you.

Extension Requests

Though the IRS sets deadlines, you can request an extension. That means completing, signing, and submitting Form 4868. However, the extension request is only for submitting forms. You still must pay any tax owed by the deadline or you will face penalties and interest.

Mailing and Delivery of Tax Forms

Taxes can be filed electronically with the IRS. Most reputable tax software programs allow you the option of sending your small business tax forms via the internet. If done properly, then you will receive a quick notification from the IRS. This is the quickest and easiest way to file your small business taxes.

If you mail your small business tax returns, be sure to have it postmarked by the deadline date. The IRS considers a return sent on the deadline as a “timely return.” However, you must ensure that your tax return envelope is postmarked by April 15, or by any other estimated tax filing deadline.

If you do not mail your tax documents via the US Postal Service, private delivery though one of the two private delivery services is acceptable. FedEx and UPS are all acceptable delivery companies. Just be sure to have your return “picked up” and entered into their delivery database by the deadline.

Although the taxman cometh at least once a year, it is likely you will face other deadlines in getting your small business taxes filed. Be familiar with your deadlines, and avoid penalties by getting your taxes mailed on time.