Do you know when your taxes are due?

Feb 17, 2020

This is a sponsored post from Bench, the online bookkeeping service that pairs you with a dedicated bookkeeping team and elegant software to do your books for you.

Tax season is coming. If you don’t have Bench handling your bookkeeping and taxes, it’s up to you to meet your filing deadlines.
Whether you’re totally organized and ready to go, or you’re just getting around to digging up old receipts, here’s what you need to know to get your taxes filed on time.

Tax filing deadlines

Which forms you need to file and when depends upon your business structure. Your filing to-do list is also affected by whether you paid any contractors during the previous year.

Quarterly estimated tax deadlines

If you file quarterly estimated taxes, your due dates for 2020 are:

  • April 15, 2020: First estimated quarterly payment
  • June 15, 2020: Second estimated quarterly payment
  • September 15, 2020: Third estimated quarterly payment
  • January 15, 2021: Fourth estimated quarterly payment for the 2020 tax year

You can estimate and pay your quarterly tax using IRS Form 1040-ES.

Tax deadlines for sole proprietorships

If you’re a sole proprietor, your tax filing deadline for Form 1040 (including Schedule C) is April 15, 2020. This is also your deadline for file for an extension.

Tax deadlines for LLCs

If you’re an LLC electing S corporation or partnership status, your filing deadline for IRS Form 1065 or IRS Form 1120-S, respectively, is March 16, 2020.

Tax deadlines for partnerships

If your business is a partnership, your filing deadline for IRS Form 1065 is March 16, 2020.

Tax deadlines for S corporations

If your business is an S corporation, your filing deadline for IRS Form 1120-S is March 16, 2020.

Tax deadlines for corporations

The deadline for C corporations to file IRS Form 1120 is April 15, 2020.

How to apply for a tax extension

If it seems like you won’t be ready to file your taxes on time, you should file for an extension as soon as possible.
Why? Because if you file late, you’ll pay a penalty. The IRS charges you 5% of your outstanding income tax balance, plus an additional 1% for every month you fail to file, up to a maximum of 12 months. So, if you file your taxes 12 months late, you’ll pay an extra 17% on your taxes.

The automatic six-month extension

You qualify for an automatic six month extension of your tax filing deadline if you’re:

In that case, just add six months to your regular filing deadline. For instance, you’d normally be expected for file your sole prop taxes on April 15, 2020. But if you serve abroad in the armed forces, your filing deadline is October 15, 2020.

How to apply for a sole proprietorship tax extension

The two fastest, easiest ways to get a tax extension for your sole proprietorship are through the IRS payment portal, or by filing IRS Form 4868 online.

Filing for an extension through the IRS payment portal

If you plan on paying your taxes online, the fastest way to get an extension is through the IRS payment portal.
Log in to the portal, choose “Direct Pay with Bank Account,” and select “Extension” as your reason for payment.

Filing for an extension with IRS Form 4868

You can also file for an extension by submitting IRS Form 4868 online.
If your income is below $66,000, you can do this using Free File software. If it’s over $66,000, you will need to file using Free File fillable forms.

How to file for a partnership, S corporation, or C corporation extension online

If your business is a partnership, S corporation, or C corporation—or an LLC filing as one—you’re slightly more limited in how you can file for an extension.
You’ll need to file IRS Form 7004 through the IRS’ e-file service. If you’re filing multiple returns this year, you must file a different Form 7004 for each.
After specifying which return you’re filing an extension for, you’ll use Form 7004 to let the IRS know:

  • If your organization is a foreign corporation without an office or place of business in the U.S.
  • If your organization is a corporation and the common parent of a group that will be filing a consolidated return.
  • If the organization is a corporation or partnership that qualifies under Regulations section 1.6081-5.
  • The dates of your calendar and tax years.
  • Whether you’re filing a short tax year, and if so, why.

You’ll also need to provide an estimated total for the taxes you have due, and information on any payments you’ve already made or credits you qualify for.

Tax extension filing deadlines

The deadline to file for a tax extension is the same as your tax filing deadline.

Tax season can be stressful, but remember: You always have the option to file for an extension. Not going to make it on time? File for an extension ASAP to avoid penalties.
Even with extensions as a saving grace, filing taxes for your small business can eat up time and energy. If that’s the case, consider using BenchTax. Bench will handle all your bookkeeping tasks throughout the year. Then, when tax season rolls around, BenchTax will get you filed accurately and on time.

—Bryce Warnes