When Are Business Taxes Due—2019 Dates to KnowIf you own one of the over 30 million US small businesses, 1 you need to know when it’s time to pay Uncle Sam and which tax forms you’ll need.
Taxes might be one of life’s certainties, but that doesn’t mean you’re certain about when they’re due. Most Americans consider April tax season because of their personal filings, but does that apply to businesses as well? The answer is . . . sometimes.
In this article, you’ll learn about business tax due dates and how to avoid penalties for filing late. We’ll also cover other essential info, such as who is required to file, whether you’ll need additional forms beyond a 1040, whether your business requires quarterly reporting, and what you need to know about deductions and returns.
We’ll help you know all the business tax basics so you can rest easy. Let’s start with those business tax return due dates.
Due dates for 2019
Depending on how your business is structured, your business tax filing deadline for the 2018 calendar year will generally be due in either March or April of 2019. Looking for more specifics? Here’s a full list of tax deadlines:
The Internal Department of Revenue (IRS) requires different forms, rates, and filing dates depending on the official business entity of your company. Are you writing a business plan for a new business? Not sure what the different entities are? Let’s briefly review what defines each business entity.
In this type of structure, a business owner keeps their business assets and personal assets tied together, so a sole proprietor pays taxes as part of their personal income tax return. If you don’t register your small business as any particular type, a sole proprietorship is the default structure.
Like a sole proprietorship, a partnership also pays taxes as part of each partner’s personal income tax return. But unlike an LLC, partners are still liable for any business debts.
Limited liability company (LLC)
When it comes to federal taxes, an LLC functions much like a partnership would. But a small business can file with its state to be organized as an LLC as long as it meets the requirements.
An S corporation complies with some of the typical corporate obligations and issues (such as passive income tax and built-in gains tax). But an S corporation is generally smaller, and the owners must pay taxes on their portion of the business income as part of their personal tax return.
Once your company is fully incorporated, a C corporation structure is the default option. C corporations file and pay a corporate tax return instead of passing income onto the owners’ personal taxes.
Stuff happens. Maybe your business records for this tax year got lost in a move, or maybe life events are keeping you too busy to sit down and file on time. If your tax documents aren’t in order by the business tax deadline, you might need to file a tax extension to avoid a late payment penalty.
Note that this only extends your time to file a return—not to pay. You’ll need to estimate what you owe and pay that amount when you file for an extension.
For the extension, you’ll need to fill out the relatively simple IRS Form 7004. As long as you send in the form by the time your tax return is due, you should have up to six more months to finish filing your taxes.
Now that you have an idea of what the business entities are and how to get an extension on your tax return, let’s dive into the forms you need. Brace yourselves; there are a bunch of forms and schedules.
Sole proprietors and single-owner LLCs
If you’re in a sole proprietorship—or if you’re the only owner of your LLC—then you’ll simply need to fill out Schedule C on Form 1040, your personal tax return.
Partnerships, S corporations, and multi-owner LLCs
Partnerships, S corporations , and LLCs with multiple owners need to fill out Form 1065. These businesses pass profits (or losses) through to the business owners, who report their earnings on Schedule E on the 1040 Form.
They should receive a Schedule K-1 form to help them fill out Schedule E.
C corporations should file their corporate taxes with Form 1120. Owners receive a Form 1099 to report any dividends on their personal income tax returns.
Other important forms include Form 941 for filing quarterly taxes withheld from any employees’ paychecks and Form 720 if your business is subject to any excise taxes. Additionally, your state will likely have its own form for sales tax returns if your company collects sales tax.
Annual vs. quarterly payments
When do you need to start thinking about paying taxes quarterly instead of yearly? If your business has employees, you’ll need to file Form 941 every three months. You will also need to pay a quarterly tax if your business sells specified goods (like gasoline) that require an excise sales tax.
If your business doesn’t fall under those categories, figure on the usual tax time. But remember that setting aside one large sum of unpaid tax is risky—filing an estimated return every quarter and spreading out your payments could be a good idea.
Deductions and refunds
While you can deduct many different business expenses from your tax liability, not every business will receive a tax refund. Unlike an employee’s income, which has a part of every paycheck withheld for taxes, a business owner or independent contractor has no automatic system in place. But an accountant or tax software can help you estimate taxes beforehand to make sure you’re covering your expected taxes with quarterly payments.
Technically, only a C corporation can receive a refund for the business itself. But owners of pass-through entities (LLCs, sole proprietorships, S corporations, and partnerships) can receive personal tax returns if their income tax and self-employment taxes are smaller than their tax payments and deductions. In other words, you get a return if your business overpays on your estimated tax payments throughout the taxable year.
If you do get a refund, you can expect it about three weeks after you file. So it makes sense to get started on your business tax return right away—save yourself time spent worrying and get your refund earlier if you’re eligible.
Now that you know when business taxes are due, we hope you’ll feel more confident heading into tax season. If you want to make the process even smoother, you can check out our guide on the best tax software available for businesses.
Have your own tips for filing business taxes? Pop them in the comments below!
1. U.S. Small Business Administration, “2018 Small Business Profile”