While April 15 is the most recognizable tax due date, there are many other dates small and medium-sized businesses should mark on their calendar to assure they are compliant with all filing requirements.
Important Small Business Tax Filing Dates for 2021
When we talk about due dates for your taxes, it depends entirely on two things: 1) what kind of taxes you are talking about and, 2) What kind of small business you run and where you are located.
Federal Income Taxes
Many small businesses either choose, or are required to submit their taxes on a quarterly basis. But for those who choose the one-time annual payment route, here are dates you’ll need to mark on your calendar:
April 5, 2021
If you’re a sole proprietorship, you’ll use the same tax schedule as individuals which means that your taxes are due on April 15, 2021.
March 15, 2021
If you’re running a corporation or a partnership, your taxes are due a bit earlier on March 15, 2021.
Need more time?
If you need more time to file your annual taxes, you may request a 6-month extension from the IRS. Sole proprietors and LLCs with only a single member (owner) can use Form 4868 to ask for an extension. Other companies will need to use Form 7004.
NOTE: A REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION SHOULD INCLUDE ANY ESTIMATED TAX PAYMENT YOU ANTICIPATE WILL BE DUE.
An extension request does not guarantee the extension is approved. A request for an extension should include any estimated tax payment you anticipate will be due. Use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to pay taxes online and to request an extension.
If an extension request is approved, final, completed returns and taxes due must be submitted by:
September 15, 2021
October 15, 2021
- Sole proprietorships
- LLCs taxed as a disregarded entity
You will want to consider that there are penalties for late payment. Federally, even with an extension, you could be assessed an additional 0.5% of the tax due monthly until the original tax due is fully paid. There is a maximum of 25% of your total tax bill penalty allowed under the law.
W-2s, 1099-MISC Deadlines
When it comes to employment taxes — at the end of each year you’ll have to distribute year-end tax documents to employees. These documents detail how much money has been withheld from their checks throughout the year. You’ll also have to give a copy to the Social Security Administration.
January 31, 2021
Businesses have until January 31st to submit all W-2 and 1099-MISC forms to the Social Security Administration and distribute these forms to employees and contractors.
February 28, 2021
Businesses then have until February 28 to submit these forms to the IRS which are then used to verify the taxes your employees submit.
How to Get Those Forms Ready
The easiest way to prepare W-2 or 1099-MISC forms is to use a payroll service provider like ADP. Many of these companies will automatically generate these reports using the data you’ve submitted for payroll. They’ll even mail or email them to your employees as well as the appropriate federal offices. Be aware that your service provider may charge an extra fee for this. (It all depends on the number of employees or contractors you have).
Alternately, you can go through an online filing service like 1099 Online. For a small fee per 1099-MISC, they’ll file the forms on your behalf to all parties. Typically, the more forms you need to file, the less you’ll pay. So prices range from about $.55 each to $3.49 each. You’ll need to know how much you paid contractors, as well as their social security numbers or tax ID numbers.
You can file your employee W-2s online directly with the Social Security Administration. All you need is an account and your employee’s information. And the IRS has a system for you to file your 1099-MISC, though it’s a little less user-friendly than some of the other options. You may need to wait to receive a password in the mail, so you’ll need plenty of time if you choose this option.
And if you prefer to go old school, you can always print the forms from the IRS and SSA and mail them in!
Cut Down on Your Tax Time Stress
There’s no benefit in waiting until the last minute to prepare your W-2 and 1099-MISC forms, so do what you can now to prepare. Make sure that your accountant or bookkeeper is on top of it or if you are a DIY with your accounting, make sure you’ve logged all expenses you’ve accrued with contractors, and if you don’t have their contact information and social security or tax ID numbers, now is the time to gather that information. Having an updated W-9 on file is the best way to ensure you have this, so plan to require a new one from each contractor come January.
Likewise, for employees, make sure you have updated information as well. Ideally, you’re having new hires fill out a W-4 as soon as you onboard them, but if that has slipped through the cracks, have them fill one out as quickly as possible so you don’t miss your deadline!