We’re now into that time the year that accountants and other tax preparers refer to as “tax season.”
For the rest of us it’s panic season.
We scramble to get together our tax documents and hope that we won’t have to pay taxes.
How many of you have filed your return the day it was due? I’m raising my hand (not easy to type like that).
Stressful, isn’t it?
Add to the stress the fact that not everyone files taxes the same. Some are individual filers while others file as self-employed. Corporations file taxes too (and they have a different due date).
But the tax deadlines aren’t all the same in every case. It’s enough to make your head spin, wondering “when are the tax due dates for my taxes?”
Below you will find Federal Income Tax deadlines for 2014. Use these due dates to your advantage and plan enough time to prepare your taxes before they are due.
Individual Income Tax Filing Due Dates
When it comes to filing income taxes, everyone is well acquainted with “April 15”— a date in America that’s so universally recognized that it sits in a category with the Fourth of July and December 25th.
Make sure you get your taxes done by April 15th. (Get them done earlier than that to give yourself time in case any issues pop up).
Did you know a couple of years, April 15th wasn’t April 15th, if you know what I mean. The IRS will adjust the date based on the calendar, and the past couple of years were a couple of those exceptions.
If you are really on top of your taxes, the IRS started accepting e-file and Free File returns in January.
Need an extension to file?
Filing an extension moves the filing date out six months, to October 15, 2014.
The extension is automatic with the filing of Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return). You must file the tax extension form no later than the tax filing date of April 15th.
It’s important to remember that the extension is NOT an extension to pay your taxes, but only to file the return.
Any tax liability required by the final return must be paid by April 15 otherwise tax penalties and interest will be incurred.
What About Estimated Tax Payments for the Self-Employed?
Many taxpayers, particularly the self-employed, are required to make estimated income tax payments. This is done by sending tax payments with Form 1040-ES (here’s the PDF of 1040-ES from the IRS site).
The due dates for estimated tax payments are:
1st payment, April 15, 2014 – For the period January 1st through March 31st
2nd payment, June 16, 2014 - For the period April 1st through May 31st
3rd payment, September 15, 2014 - For the period June 1st through August 31st
4th payment, January 15, 2015 - For the period September 1st through December 31st
You can also pay all of your estimated taxes for the year by April 15th.
Corporate Income Tax Return (1120) Filing Dates
Since so many people are self-employed—many maintaining corporations in the process—it’s worth noting that corporate entities work on a different filing schedule.
The filing deadline for both corporations and S corporations is March 17th in 2014. Or rather, the 15th of the third month after the corporation’s tax year ends (this year the 15th falls on a weekend). Many corporations follow the calendar year. If the corporation doesn’t then the third month rule applies after their fiscal year ends.
If you cannot file by the due date, you can file Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns. This will provide a 6-month extension of time to file (September 15, 2014). The corporation must file Form 7004 by the regular due date of the return.
Tax estimates are also required to be paid by corporations four times per year.
The due dates for the tax estimate installments are:
1st payment, April 15, 2014
2nd payment, June 16, 2014
3rd payment, September 15, 2014
4th payment, December 15, 2014
If any date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the installment is due on the next regular business day.
Check with your accountant or income tax preparer for these and other significant tax date, or go to IRS.gov for more information.
Final Word on Tax Due Dates
Remember, if you are mailing in taxes they must be postmarked by the due date. It’s not enough to just put your mail in the mailbox, you have to make sure it will be processed by the post office by the due date. That’s why you see those long lines at the post office on April 15th – people are making sure their returns are postmarked in time.
Don’t wait until the last minute. You never know what may come up or get lost. Give yourself a time cushion to prepare your taxes. It will feel SO much better to have them taken care of before their due date. And if you’re getting a tax refund then the quicker you file the quicker you get your money back.