Business Dates to Plan For

Start of Autumn: Business Dates to Plan For

Business Dates to Plan ForThe calendar notes that summer is officially over and fall has begun. The start of autumn typically triggers the beginning of preparations for the holiday season. But it’s also a time for other actions. Here’s a rundown of some upcoming dates to plan for:

Federal holidays

Federal law does not mandate that employers provide any specific holidays or pay employees for holidays. States may have their own rules.

What paid holidays have you already planned for? What might you consider? Here are some key dates to note and decide whether your business will be open and whether employees will be paid if you close.

  • October 12, 2020, Columbus Day, a federal holiday. Some states have renamed the day as Indigenous Peoples Day. OfficialHolidays has a chart listing how states observe today.
  • November 11, 2020, Veterans Day, which is a federal holiday.
  • November 26, 2020, Thanksgiving, which is a federal holiday.
  • December 25, 2020, Christmas Day, which is a federal holiday.

Another date to consider that impacts your business:

  • November 3, 2020, Election Day. It is not a federal holiday. Check with your state to see whether you are required to give employees time off, with or without pay. WorkplaceFairness.org has a map that you can click on to find the rules in your state.

Consumer events

Dunkin launched its line of pumpkin-flavored coffees and donuts in August, hinting that the holiday season was not too far off. Now that autumn has begun, businesses need to get ready for upcoming consumer events.

  • October 31, 2020, Due to the pandemic, some locations are banning trick or treating, but businesses can plan for other ways in which consumers can celebrate (e.g., house decorations).
  • November 26, 2020, Thanksgiving, which is a federal holiday. Some large retailers have announced they won’t be open at all today.
  • November 27, 2020, Black Friday, which is historically the busiest shopping day of the year. However, with consumer purchasing moving online, retail stores may not see the usual traffic.
  • November 28, 2020, Small Business Saturday, which is a day to support local businesses. Given the impact of the pandemic on small businesses, today’s activities are especially important.
  • November 30, 2020, Cyber Monday, which has been the biggest online shopping day of the year. The designation of this day started in 2005. Due to the pandemic and the change in how consumers have been shopping these past months, whether the day is meaningful depends on sales being offered.
  • December 25, 2020. Today is Christmas Day, a day that retailers close and get ready for post-holiday season sales and gift returns.

Tax-filing deadlines

Looking ahead there are some significant federal tax-filing deadlines to keep in mind:

  • October 15, 2020. This is the deadlines for filing 2019 income tax returns for individuals and calendar-year C corporations on extension in order to avoid late filing penalties. However, this extended due date for filing does not provide more time for paying taxes, which were due by July 15, 2020. In fact, because payments are more than 60 days after the due date (the 60 day-period ended September 14), there is a minimum penalty of $435 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is less (there’s no penalty in the case of a refund).
  • October 31, 2020. This is the due date for filing Form 941 for the third quarter of 2020. The IRS is revising the form and expects to have it ready by this deadline.
  • December 15, 2020. This is the deadline for the final payment of estimated tax for 2020 by C corporations.

Final thought

Actress Mae West said: “Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear!”

Whether you keep your calendar on paper, in Outlook, or in some other manner, be sure to mark key dates. This will help you plan ahead.

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