A Guide to Tax Deadlines and Extensions
Written by: Kurt Johnson
Whether you file an extension or your standard tax forms, you must file either by the tax filing deadline. For the individual taxpayer whether single or married, filing your taxes must be completed by the “15th day of the fourth month after the end of your tax year,” as indicated by the Internal Revenue Service. This typically is April 15th, but may vary by discretion of the Internal Revenue Service as it does in 2012. If you are self-employed, the IRS also requires that you file tax forms and estimated tax payments quarterly on the 15th day of the fourth, sixth and ninth months of the tax year as well as on the 15th day of the first month after the tax year ends. For the 2012 tax year, the IRS has given the taxpayer until Tuesday, April 17th to file their taxes because April 15th falls on a Sunday in 2012 and Monday is a holiday in Washington, D.C.
Partnership Business Filings
For businesses, different requirements apply based on whether the business is qualified as a legal partnership, a corporation or an S-corporation. Partnerships must file form 1065 in lieu of the individual 1040 and must file under the same plan as individuals, the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the business tax year, which could be based upon the calendar or a fiscal year. Large partnerships must file in the same time frame as a standard partnership, but also provide each partner in the company form K-1 or form 1065-B by the first March 15th after the close of the business’ tax year.
The IRS requires that corporations and s-corporations file Forms 1120, 1120S or Form 7004 on the 15th day of the third month—at the end of the corporation’s tax year. S-Corps are required to provide each shareholder in the company with a copy of Form 1120S or Schedule K-1 for use in filing individual taxes. Corporations must also make estimated tax payments on a set schedule, which is on the 15th day of the fourth, sixth, ninth and twelfth months of the company’s tax year.
When you ask for an extension on your taxes, if you owe money, the government requires that you send in the owed tax when you file the extension by the standard tax filing deadline. You can make arrangements to pay your taxes through a payment plan, if that is needed, but you must fill out the Internal Revenue Service’s Online Payment Agreement and submit a portion of what you owe at the time of filing. Any extended payment plan will include additional interest, penalties or fees. The government offers an automatic deduction from your bank account upon your authorization to pay the monthly payment.
If you need further time to file your taxes, the government grants individuals a six-month extension, providing they fill out the proper form, Form 4868 and pay a portion of their tax debt, if they have one at the same time they file IRS Form 4868 due by April 17, 2012. The IRS recommends that you “file on time, even if you can’t pay.”
Filing an extension using Form 4868 requires you estimate your tax liability correctly, enter your total tax liability on the correct line of the form and file Form 4868 by the standard tax filing deadline for individuals. Filing the request for extension does not give you an extension on paying your owed tax—it only grants you the right to file your tax form at a later date. Any taxes owed at the standard filing deadline will accrue interest and penalties from that date forward. Those who are under a court order to file their taxes by a specific date are not allowed to file Form 4868.
Business Tax Extensions
The same rules apply to businesses that need extensions; however a business must file a different form depending upon the type of business organizational structure. Businesses must file Form 7004 or Form 1138 for a corporation expecting a net loss carryback. Along with filing Form 7004, the business must estimate the tax liability and pay that at the time of filing. Tax extension filings must be filed according to the business’ standard tax filing schedule.
- Tax Calendar PDF from the IRS: The IRS provides resources for individuals
- Tax Calendar: Tax calendar important dates for individuals from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Organization Tax Filing: Filing Form 990 deadlines for E-Filing taxes
- Social Security Snapshot: Understanding the most important features of social security tax payments.
- IRS Extends 2012 Tax Filing: Tax Extension Deadline October 15th
- E-Filing Deadline Available: E-filing deadline available January 17, 2012.
- Tax Resources: The University of Wisconsin offers a bevy of tax resources and documents for students, scholars and individuals.
- American Institute of CPA 2011 Tax Guides: Links for downloading forms and 2011 tax guides.
- Tax Incentives for 2011: Information from the Tax Incentives Assistance Project.
- Payroll Tax Extensions Debate: The 2012 Payroll tax extensions debate is ongoing.
- General Information on Taxes: Fellowships and stipends are considered taxable.