If the only things we can be sure about are death and taxes, then the fact that the deadlines for year-end filings are coming up should be no surprise to you. One thing that may be a surprise, however, is any changes in tax code or due dates that apply to your return. There may be new forms or other unexpected developments you weren’t aware of.
Dates You Need to Know
Here are some of the important dates and tips for your 2016 small business tax return. Remember that some of these apply only to this year, because certain deadlines may fall on a weekend or holiday. Always check with your accountant for details and clarification.
Corporate Tax Returns
Any corporate returns using forms 1120, 1120A, or 1120S must be filed by March 15. You can file for an automatic extension of 6 months using form 7004, if you’re on a calendar year.
Amended Corporate Returns
You must file an amended return, using form 1120X, for as far back as 2013, and still get a refund. You have 3 years from the original date of the return to claim any refunds before they expire.
If you’re a business partnership using IRS form 1065, your due date is March 15. You can ask for an automatic extension of 5 months if you file form 7004.
Your deadline to file year-end returns is April 17, since the usually April 15 deadline falls on a weekend. The extended deadline is October 16. For C-corps on a fiscal year, your deadline is the 15th day of the 4th month following the end of your fiscal year. However, there is an exception if your fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. In this case, your first deadline is September 15 with an extended deadline of February 15.
Your deadline for filing 2016 tax returns is March 15, 2017 if you’re on a calendar year. If you choose to file an extension, that deadline isn’t until September 15.
The deadline to mail out form 1099-B (for sales of mutual funds, bonds, or stocks through brokerage accounts) is February 15.
Real Estate Transactions
February 15 is also the deadline for filing form 1099-S, which applies to real estate transactions.
A Few More Tips
If you’re running your business from home, don’t forget to file for your home office deduction with your tax return. If you have a space in your home that’s used exclusively for running a business, you can claim either $5 per square foot of office space with a $1,500 cap. Alternatively, you may us a more complex formula and claim that deduction on form 8829.
You may also find deductions for insurance costs, office equipment, travel and client entertainment, and more. Even the smallest deductions can add up, but to avoid sending up red flags to the IRS, always consult your CPA or business accounting professional for help.