Tax Filing Deadlines have a way to creep up on you, and there’s nothing more dampening than having to pay a fine that could (and should) have been avoided.

Spend a few minutes to add reminders for each relevant filing date to your system, and stay ahead of the IRS.

If you’re submitting your returns via the snail mail, it’ll be considered “on time” as long as it’s addressed correctly, has enough postage, and is in the mail before the end of business on your filing deadline day.

Otherwise, you can e-file your return before midnight on your tax day.

And if you’d prefer to hire good bookkeeping service to take the pain of handling your bookkeeping and filing the federal taxes, check out AutoFilings. You won’t have to go through the hassle again.

When is “Tax Day”

Most United States residents file their income tax details with the IRS on Tax Day itself. The date is usually April 15 or around it. The date sometimes gets extended to accommodate holidays or extreme weather conditions.

The “tax day”, about to arrive is April 15, 2020 (before midnight). That’s when personal federal income tax returns and corporate tax returns are due. It’s also when the first estimated tax payment and most state tax returns are due.

So you only have until April 15 to file a tax return, though certain money-saving moves, tax extensions, and estimated payments, can add other deadlines to your tax-filing calendar.

When to Pay your Taxes

If you’re self-employed, your business probably pays taxes at four different times throughout the year, rather than on a single day. These payments are for taxes based on estimated revenues. The due dates for these payments are April 15th, June 17th, September 16th, and January 15th.

What’s the penalty for being late on these payments? Once your tax date has been missed, you’ll have to pay an additional 0.5% of unpaid taxes, monthly, until your original tax bill is paid up (up to a maximum of 25% of your total tax bill).

What are 2020 Tax Deadlines & Extensions

You can file for an extension till the midnight of the tax day. For individuals, it means you can file for a tax extension right on April 15. Similar for businesses: S-corporation and partnerships can still get an extension on March 16. The last day for C-corporates to file for an extension is April 15.

  • Tax Day for the 2019 tax year is April 15, 2020.
  • Filing after the tax deadline can set you back. The IRS would assess a failure-to-pay penalty of up to 25% of your unpaid tax. And if you file the return by more than 60 days late, the IRS may assess a minimum penalty of $435 or 100% of the tax owed by you, whichever is less.

March 16, 2020

Business Tax Returns Due for Tax Year 2019: The tax deadline to file for taxes for revenues from a partnership firm, S-corporation. If you have not applied for an extension.

April 15, 2020

Individual Tax Returns Due for Tax Year 2019: If you haven’t applied for an extension, e-file or postmark your individual tax returns before April 15, 2020, midnight.

Individual Tax Return Extension Form Due for Tax Year 2019: Want to request more time to prepare your tax return? File your requirement of a tax extension by April 15 to postpone your tax deadline to October 15, 2020.

Estimated Tax Payment Due: If you are self-employed, freelancer, C-corporation, or have some other income in the first-quarter that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes, get your forms filed by the April 15, 2020 tax deadline.

Do Check: 4 Tax Myths Every Creative Freelancer Need to Bust

Last Day to make a 2019 IRA Contribution: If you haven’t already funded your retirement account for 2019, complete the process by April 15, 2020. That’s the deadline for contributions to a conventional IRA and a Roth IRA, deductible or not. However, if you have a Keogh or SEP, you shall have a filing extension up to October 15, 2020. Therefore, you can wait until then to fund these accounts for 2019 money.

May 15, 2020

This is the original tax deadline for non-profit or exempt organizations, if not requested for extension.

June 15, 2020

Estimated Tax Payment Due for 2nd Quarter 2020: If you are self-employed or have other second-quarter income for which you need to pay estimated taxes quarterly, make sure your second quarter payment is remitted by the June 15, 2020 tax deadline

September 15, 2020

Estimated Tax Payment Due for 3rd Quarter 2020: If you are self-employed, in a partnership firm, S-corporation, or have some other third-quarter income for which you need to pay estimated taxes quarterly, make sure your payment is remitted by Sept. 15, 2020 tax deadline.

October 15, 2020

Extended Individual & C-Corp Tax Returns Due: If you took an extension for filing your individual or C-corporation 2019 tax returns, you need to get it completed and postmarked by October 15, 2020.

November 1, 2020

Start making tax moves: End of year tax moves would reduce your taxable income for the year and can help grow your business. If you haven’t planned already, now is the time to do so.

November 16, 2020

Nonprofit entities or exempt ones: The extended deadline for filing tax returns for such organization, filing in Form 990.

December 31, 2020

Finalize 2020: This is the final day to make any tax moves for the 2020 tax year. For self-employed individuals, this is the deadline to set up a solo 401 (k).

January 15, 2021

Estimated Tax Payment Due for 4th Quarter 2020: If you are self-employed or have some fourth-quarter income for which you are required to pay estimated taxes every quarter, get them postmarked by January 15, 2021 tax deadline.

Six Significant Tax Deadlines

1. File your 2017 tax return 

If you were expecting a refund for the 2017 tax year but didn’t file a tax return, you must submit that old Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR until the April tax deadline to claim your money. So if you didn’t file earlier, don’t miss this one! Meet the 2020 tax deadline, to receive money from the U.S. Treasury for a change.

2. Contribute towards 401(k) by Dec. 31

Making maximum possible contributions to a traditional 401(k) will reduce your total taxable income for the year.

For instance, let’s say your revenue for the year was $65,000. Deposit $19,500 (the limit in 2020) into your 401(k). Instead of paying income taxes on the complete earning of $65,000, you only owe taxes on $45,500 of your income. In other words, saving for the future lets you shield $19,500 from taxes (and even more if you’re 50+).

Additionally, many employers offer to match some portion of your savings, so that if you contribute enough to your account, you’ll also receive some extra free money from your employer.

3. Contribute to or open an IRA before Tax Deadlines

Certain contributions to a traditional IRA are considered tax-deductible. 

There is the April 15, 2020, tax deadline to contribute to an IRA, whether Roth or other, for the 2019 tax year.

The maximum contribution amount permissible for either type of IRA is $6,000 — or $7,000 if you’re aged 50 or more.

4. Contribute to your Health Savings Account by April 15

  • April 15, 2020, is the deadline date to deposit money into an HSA for the 2019 tax year.
  • This medical account, available to persons with a high-deductible health plan, provides a way-out to save taxes to pay for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • The limits for 2019 are $3,500 for an individual HSA owner and $7,000 for a family. For 2020, the contribution limit for individual coverage is $3,550 and the limit for the family coverage is $7,100.

5. File for an extension by Tax Deadlines (but do pay)

If you were not able to furnish your returns by the tax deadline, file IRS Form 4868. This buys most taxpayers an extra six months to file their returns. Some individuals may automatically have an extension (though not necessarily for six months) due to the kind of income. 

A tax extension gets you more time to file your return, but that doesn’t mean you have got more time to pay your taxes. You, still, must pay any tax you owe, or at least a fair estimate of that amount, by the April tax deadline. Include the amount you have paid when you request an extension or a late-payment penalty may get imposed on you for the taxes due.

6. What are the State Tax Deadlines

Make sure to check for this. Though most of the States, with an income tax, follow the federal tax deadlines, still, it pays to know for sure. Most taxpayers face income taxes imposed by the State. Check with your State’s revenue department for the due dates, how and when to file for an extension, if required.

What are the Estimated Income Tax Payments

While employees who receive W-2 wages are withheld a certain amount from each paycheck, self-employed earners do not have any such withholdings. So unless they pay some tax on their estimated income throughout the year, they will be liable for the entire year’s income tax at the time of filing their annual tax return. As you can imagine, this becomes very cumbersome, and the amount huge, whether you are or aren’t planning or expecting it. With so many tax brackets and additional self-employment taxes applicable to self-employed individuals, calculating how much to pay each quarter can get very complicated. This is where the Safe Harbor method comes to the rescue for the self-employed earners with no access to tax experts.

Some Important Points to Consider For Tax Deadlines

Did your business have any foreign activities

If you have had overseas business transactions, missing the filing deadline gets even more costly. After the 2017 Tax Act laws were affected, failing to file a Form-5472, complete and correct, for all of your foreign shareholders carries a $25,000 penalty per shareholder per month.

Did you start or stop your business

While it might be tempting to forget about taxes if it was your first and last year of business, or as a business that only exists for a certain season of the year, you’ll still need to file under a short year tax return.

If you started a business, you must file taxes beginning on the date of incorporation till the end of the year. Talk to your tax expert to determine what is deductible and what is not. For instance, any costs you incurred before starting your business won’t be deductible, though these business set-up costs can be capitalized and deducted over the next 15 years.

If you shut the business down, take note of the exact date you closed operations for tax purposes. You’ll need to file a return that encompasses all revenue and expenses up to the dissolution date. Only the amounts that you plan to distribute to investors as you cash out, should remain in any business accounts, and whatever has been set aside for paying any final tax liability.

Was your LLC converted into a C-Corp

When converting business structure from an LLC to a C Corporation, it’s critical that you take the help of tax and legal professionals. As we’ve mentioned before, transforming your business from LLC into a C-Corporation can invite unnecessary costly tax penalties. All partners are given just 3-months by the IRS to file a short tax year return and pay their income tax liability. After three months are over, each partner will owe $195 for each month the return is late in addition to their income tax liability.

You may like: Ways in which Business Structure Affects Taxes

Did you receive a notice from the IRS or State tax authority

All notices served by the federal or state tax authorities will have a deadline date by when the taxpayer must respond. Consult a tax professional about how you should proceed and ensure that the response is prompt. But, no need to get frightened by getting a notice from a tax authority—whether for a correction or an actual audit.

Start Planning Now to Save As Much Taxes As You Can 

Business owners know there are many ways to save on taxes, but it takes a certain degree of planning in advance to achieve all that. Knowing the main tax deadlines is a huge step toward being compliant and avoiding late fees & penalties.

The end of quarter one is the best time to review and improve strategies. With their performance data interpretations available now, taxpayers can easily check how their Q1 performance measured up against their financial goals for the year. You can also devise plans to allocate resources (spend and save) and outline what the tax situation will look like for 2021. Some points to consider would be:

  • If my business is profitable, where can I make invest and/or spend to lower my taxable income as well as generate more business/revenues?
  • Would it be profitable if I hire more people or start a new project?
  • Should I add other business activities that align with my business goals and be also eligible for tax credits?
  • What activities that my business is already involved in that could be eligible for tax credits if I make a few key changes?

Take the time to consider, research, and inspect these points very thoroughly.

Looking for extra time to get organized? Did your business activities have way more tax consequences than expected? Extending your tax deadlines shouldn’t be a stressful decision necessarily. Rather, it should help eliminate stress!

Before making any major decisions, be sure to talk about it with your tax advisor or bookkeeping services. They may come up with a sound reason for not to extend. And remember, an extension only applies to the deadline of filing your tax returns, NOT paying the taxes.

You may like to talk with the professional experts at AutoFilings. You can connect with us by filling up this simple form.

Happy Taxes to You!!

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Frequently Asked Questions

When are taxes due in the US?
What Are Tax Deductions, Exemptions, and Tax credits?
What are the crucial tax deadlines by the IRS?
What are the consequences of not filing tax returns?
What should I do if my Form W-2 was lost?
Can I get an automatic extension?
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