Tax returns, payments, and forms for all types of businesses for the 2020 tax year are due in 2021 and tax dates can shift by a day or two from year to year. Different types of business entities file tax returns in different ways.
The IRS announced an extension to May 17, 2021, of the deadline for filing individual income tax returns, including those who pay self-employment taxes. This extension does not affect estimated quarterly taxes, which are still due April 15, 2021, for non-employee income.
- The IRS has announced that it is extending the April 15, 2021, tax filing and payment deadlines for victims of February 2021 winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, beginning February 11, 2021, to June 15, 2021. This extension applies to the entire state of Texas and other states that include declared winter storm disaster areas. The extension also applies to:
- 2020 business and personal tax returns due April 15
- 2020 IRA contributions due April 15
- 2021 Quarterly estimated income tax payments due April 15
- 2021 Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30
- 2020 Tax-exempt organization returns normally due May 17
A sole proprietorship business is an extension of the individual taxpayer who owns and runs it. Its year-end is December 31, and the tax return due date is the same as the individual's—normally April 15, except it's May 17 in 2021. Sole proprietors file Schedule C with their personal tax returns to arrive at their net taxable business incomes.
The due date for the 2020 Schedule C is May 17, 2021, because Schedule C is filed with the owner's individual Form 1040.
As the name suggests, a single-member LLC is an LLC with only one owner. It's taxed like a sole proprietorship, using Schedule C to calculate net income. The tax returns are normally due, and taxes are payable on April 15 for the prior year. The due date for Schedule C forms along with the owner's personal tax return is normally April 15, and for 2021 it's May 17.
A partnership's return is an information return on Form 1065. Any tax owed is reported on the individual partner's tax return. Form 1065 is due on the 15th day of the third month after the end of the partnership's tax year, so the partnership return due date is normally March 15 for a December 31 year-end.
March 15 is also the due date for individual partners to receive Schedules K-1 showing their shares of the partnership's income or loss. This must be filed in April on their personal tax returns.
Multiple-Member Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
Multiple-member LLCs are formed according to state-level statutes. They can elect to be taxed as corporations, S corporations, or partnerships, but they're often taxed as partnerships. The partnership filing and payment regulations apply in this case, including the March 15 deadline for giving partners their Schedule K-1s.
S corporations must file an information report on Form 1120S and provide Schedules K-1 to their shareholders by March 15.
Corporations can choose any convenient date as their year-end, but it's usually a quarter-end date. Corporate tax returns are due, and taxes are payable on the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the company's fiscal or financial year. For example, a corporation with a year-end date of December 31 must file and pay taxes by April 15.
Due Dates on a Weekend or Holiday
The tax return due date is moved to the next business day when the date falls on a weekend or holiday. For example, here's how holidays and weekends might affect the April 15 due date for personal tax returns:
The due date is Monday, April 16 if April 15 falls on a Sunday.
The due date is Monday, April 17 if April 15 falls on a Saturday.
The due date is Tuesday, April 16 if Monday, April 15 is a legal holiday.
Business Tax Return Due Dates
Here are the tax return due dates for small business taxes:
- Sole proprietorship and single-member LLC tax returns on Schedule C with the owner's personal tax return: May 17, 2021
- Partnership tax returns on Form 1065: March 15, 2021
- Multiple-member LLC returns filing partnership returns on Form 1065: March 15, 2021
- S corporation returns on Form 1120 S: March 15, 2021
- Schedule K-1s for partners in partnerships, LLC members, and S corporation shareholders on their personal tax returns: April 15, 2021
- All other corporations with fiscal years ending other than December 31: the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the fiscal year
Extension Deadlines for Business Tax Returns
Extensions have two deadlines. The first is for filing the application for the extension, followed by the deadline for filing the tax return at the end of the extension period.
The IRS will grant only one filing extension per return per year.
Personal tax returns can be extended if the request for the extension is filed by the due date. Use Form 4868 if you're the owner of a pass-through business, and you report its income and deductions on your personal tax return. This is the extension application for a personal tax return, which would include your business income.
You can also submit a request for an extension to file your tax return by paying your taxes before the due date.
Other Business Tax Returns
Use Form 7004 to file an extension application for a business tax return, including partnerships, S corporations, or corporations. The due date of the application is the 15th day of the third month after the close of the business's tax year. The IRS will grant the extension automatically if:
- You complete the form properly and file it by the original due date,
- Make a proper estimation of tax due, and
- Pay any tax that is due
An extension of time to file a tax return is not an extension of time to pay. You should pay income taxes by the original due date, or the IRS will add on interest and penalties.
Extension Due Dates
If you've taken an extension on your personal tax return, you have until October 15 to file your extended tax return.
The corporation and S corporation extension deadline is September 15.
Estimated Tax Due Dates
The IRS wants to be paid at the time income is earned, not at the end of the tax year, so businesses and self-employed taxpayers must make quarterly estimated tax payments during the year. There are four due dates for estimated taxes that you might have to pay during the year:
- April 15 for income received for the period January 1 through March 31
- June 15 for income received for the period April 1 through May 31
- September 15 for income received for the period June 1 through August 31.
- January 15 of the following tax year for income received for the period September 1 through December 31
You can make your payments the next business day if any of these dates fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.