It’s a new year, which means a lot of exciting things for your business. New chances. New resolutions. New goals. Opportunities to make this a defining year for your company.
But before you get ahead of yourself, it’s probably best that you remember that a new year means new tax deadlines, too.
Your Quarterly Estimated Taxes
For some people, the yearly tax return is the end-all, be-all of taxes. But for freelancers, the self employed, and other businesspeople, they’re used to the idea of filing quarterly estimated taxes. 2020 is going to be no different.
Paying your income tax by the quarter will start with finishing the previous tax season with the deadline for filing estimated taxes by January 15, 2020. Here are some of the other important dates you’re going to have to keep in mind for estimated taxes this year:
- April 15th (same as the deadline for tax returns)—first quarter estimated taxes
- June 15th—second quarter estimated taxes
- September 15th—third quarter estimated taxes
- January 15th, 2021—fourth quarter estimated taxes
January 31, 2020: Sending Out W-2s
When you’re a business who has to think about the taxes of its employees—not only its own taxes—it comes with specific responsibilities and deadlines. One of the most important: the end of January, when you’ll have to send out W-2s for any employees. Keep in mind that 1099 workers don’t fall under this category.
February 28, 2020: 1099 Reports
If you hired an individual contractor for your business activity in 2019 and paid them over the minimum amount, you’ll have to send in your 1099 reports—along with copies to the appropriate parties. This paperwork notifies the IRS about transactions, making sure that the people who collect income via 1099 are honest about their own income and that they pay all proper taxes.
You don’t have to make a tax payment at this time; this is simply a reporting filing that lets the IRS know if a transaction has taken place. For more information, see the IRS’s details on the 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC.
March 16, 2020: Specific Company Tax Dates
Partnerships and S Corporations, pay attention: this is the deadline for your tax returns. Partnerships using Form 1065 and S Corporations using Form 1102-S both have to use this same deadline, but there is a six month tax extension application available if you run too close to the deadline and aren’t sure you’ll be able to update it with completely accurate information without that extension.
April 15, 2020: Deadline for Filing Your Tax Return
Everyone knows April 15—unless that day falls on the weekend or a holiday—is going to be one of the most important days of the year. This is the ultimate deadline for your tax return, unless you filed an extension. And it’s also important to remember that this is the deadline for corporations to file their Form 1120.
In other words, you’re going to want most of your tax return finished well ahead of this deadline. In fact, it’s usually better that it’s finished weeks ahead, depending on the other deadlines and the paperwork you might be waiting on.
Keep in mind that you might be waiting on a tax refund for some time after this, so when you put together your financial calendar for the year, you won’t necessarily want to assume that you’re going to have your refund coming in by the tax filing due date.
There are also a few other deadlines here that are worth noting:
- This is the last day to make a 2019 IRA contribution if you haven’t already funded your account fully in 2019.
- Remember that your first quarter estimated tax payment is also due on this date.
- This is also the deadline to fund your HAS for the previous tax year of 2019.
October 15, 2020: Extended Individual Tax Returns Due
If you filed an extension on the 2019 tax return, it needs to be mailed out by this due date. Make sure that it’s completed and fully finished well ahead of this date, as there are minimal deadlines immediately preceding this date on the tax calendar, which should give you plenty of time to have everything ready by the due date.
How to Make Sure You Hit Every Tax Deadline
It isn’t long after the end of the year that the need to take action on your upcoming taxes becomes apparent. Not only do you have to think about estimated taxes, but the filing deadline for filing your tax return is coming up faster than you might imagine. Now’s the time to track your expenses and file the relevant reports for your 1099s, and then the tax return at the appropriate time, and before you know it, April 15th has already come and past.
The question is, how do you make sure you hit every deadline effortlessly? Are there any tax tips that will help?
There are a few options here.
You can utilize tax software that helps make the entire process easier. Turbo Tax, for example, makes it easy for you to file your tax return and enter in any and all relevant information that the IRS will want to gather. It also offers free filing if you mail the taxes in yourself.
You should also think about the tools you use to gather information throughout the year. You don’t want to scramble come March and find out that you did a horrible job of tracking expenses and income. Tools like QuickBooks and Freshbooks will help ensure that you have everything you need when it’s time to sit down with your accountant and get everything done.
It also helps to create a schedule that you can manage throughout the year. Don’t wait until April 1st to start gathering everything. The time to prepare your taxes is now—even if it’s just a small first step like trying out new tax software for the first time. That will help ensure you meet the tax deadlines, beat the tax deadlines, and get everything as accurately as possible.