Get Ready for Changes in Filing Deadlines and Extensions


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As a business owner, you face various tax filing requirements. Different dates apply for different tax forms. While the dates you’ve grown used to will apply for the upcoming (2016) tax season, a number of dates will change the following year.

Income tax returns

The type of entity -- and the form used by it for income tax purposes -- dictates the due date of the form. It also impacts the amount of additional time you have to file if you request an extension. Currently, here are the due dates of the forms and automatic extensions:

Form Due Date* Extended Due Date*
1040 (Schedule C filers) April 15 October 15
1065 (partnerships) April 15 September 15
1120S (S corporations) March 15 September 15
1120 (C corporations) March 15 September 15

*If the date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date becomes the next business day.

Under the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Choice Improvement Act of 2015, some filing deadlines and extensions will change. The following changes apply for returns of tax years beginning after December 31, 2015 (e.g., 2016 income tax returns filed in 2017):

Form Due Date* Extended Due Date*
1040 (Schedule C filers) April 15 October 15
1065 (partnerships) March 15 September 15
1120S (S corporations) March 15 September 15
1120 (C corporations) April 15 October 15

*If the date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date becomes the next business day.

Note: For C corporations with a fiscal year ending June 30, the return will be due September 15 (3½ months after the close of the year, rather than 4½ months after the close of the year) until 2025; thereafter the 4½ month filing deadline applies.

W-2s

As an employer, you must provide Form W-2 to an employee no later than January 31 (February 1, 2016, for 2015 forms because January 31 is a Sunday). Currently you can receive an automatic 30-day extension with the IRS. Then, a second 30-day extension may be requested. This rule continues to apply.

Under newly proposed regulations, the IRS would grant a non-automatic extension only in limited cases involving extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe. In effect, the automatic extension of time to file W-2 would be eliminated. This change would apply for 2016 W-2s filed in the 2017 filing series. Employers, tax professionals, and others are invited to submit comments on these proposed changes by November 12, 2015.

Other forms

If you have an employee benefit plan (e.g., a 401(k) plan), you usually have to file an annual information return for the plan. The form is in the 5500 series, and is use due 7½ months after the close of the plan year (July 31 for a calendar year plan). This date won’t change. What is new starting in 2017 (for 2016 plan years) is the ability to obtain an automatic 3½ month filing extension (e.g., to November 30 for a calendar year plan).

If you have foreign bank accounts and are subject to FBAR reporting on the Treasury’s FinCEN Report 114, big changes will occur. Now, the form is due on June 30; no extension is permitted. Starting in 2017 for 2016, the due date becomes April 15. Also, an automatic 6-month extension can be requested. What’s more, for any taxpayer required to file this report for the first time, any penalty for failure to timely request for, or file, an extension, may be waived by the IRS.

Conclusion

If you have tax filing deadlines in your calendar, be sure to note the new dates for 2017 and beyond.



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