Three Crucial Tax Due Dates: How to Prepare

Three Crucial Tax Due Dates: How to Prepare

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made sweeping changes to individual and business taxes, and tax year 2018 is the first opportunity for taxpayers to see exactly what these changes mean for them. While brackets and deductions have changed, most tax due dates haven’t, so tax preparers are gearing up for an extra-busy season. Read on for three crucial tax dates and what you can do to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to file your 2018 taxes.

January 31: 1099-MISC and W-2 Forms Are Due

If you’ve employed other people over the last year—whether as the owner of a corporation or as someone who uses independent contractors like landscapers or nannies—you’re required to issue a 1099-MISC or W-2 form to these employees. In addition to the form you provide to your workers, you’ll also need to provide a copy to the IRS (for 1099-MISCs) and the Social SecurityAdministration (for W-2s).

Failure to issue these forms to employees or file them with the proper government agencies can subject employers to fines and civil penalties. And because your workers can’t begin completing their income tax returns until they have this information, missing this deadline can negatively impact them as well.

This means that getting a jump on these forms during the holiday season can be a win-win situation. If you’ve never filed W-2 or 1099-MISC forms before, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the requirements and instructions posted on the IRS’s website before you get started.

March 15 (or April 15, or May 15): Business Taxes are Due

For partnerships and S Corps, business tax returns are due to the IRS by March 15. As for C Corps and sole proprietorships, these taxes are due on April 15. And for 501(c)(3)s and other nonprofit businesses, tax returns must be filed by May 15. Similar to individual tax returns, deadline extensions are available, and promptly filing an extension request can stretch these tax deadlines out by six months—except for nonprofits, which can only receive an extension of three months.

Tax accounting firms and individual preparers are often busiest between January and March of each year, so if you’re planning to use a tax preparer for your business’s taxes this year, it’s a good idea to get these services lined up early. Waiting until February or later to contact a tax firm can leave you out of luck, especially if your taxes are complicated or your books aren’t in the best shape.

April 15: “Tax Day”

For individual taxpayers, April 15 is a day that lives in infamy. This is the date by which—if you haven’t applied for an extension—you must e-file or mail your federal income tax return. If you live in a state that has an income tax, your state tax return will be due on April 15, 2019 as well.

Fortunately, even if your tax return is complicated, there are a few things you can do to make the process as simple and painless as possible. The most important is making sure you put all tax-related paperwork in a central spot or folder (or, for electronic forms, an email folder). The different mailing deadlines the IRS imposes can means you could get a dozen or more forms between mid-January and late February. Keeping these forms in one spot will prevent you from scrambling when it’s time to finish your 1040.

If you’re running behind and aren’t sure you can complete your return by Tax Day, filing for an extension is fairly simple. While you may still be assessed interest on the amount you owe the IRS (assuming you don’t get a refund), this interest is far cheaper than the penalty you’ll pay for filing late. If you are looking for more information on deadlines for your business or personal taxes, contact Klein Hall today. Klein Hall is a full-service accounting and financial advisory firm that is prepared to make certain your business needs are met, and to feel confident about your financial future.