Taxes are complicated even as an individual taxpayer. But for businesses, taxes are even more complex, with far more information and documents to be processed. Your business has to pay income tax in some manner, whether it’s directly through corporate income tax, or through your personal tax return via a pass-through business structure such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability company (LLC). On top of this, there are employer taxes to keep up on as well.

All these various business taxes have deadlines. Some of them align with the April 15, 2020 deadline for filing individual income tax returns. However, other business tax due dates are completely different and fall at varying times of the year. In particular, your first round of business tax deadlines fall on January 31, 2020. Are you prepared to meet these deadlines?

Read on to find out when business taxes are due and all the critical tax deadlines you need to meet to file on time.

Do you have business tax questions? Check out our comprehensive guide to small business taxes for answers.

When Are Business Taxes Due in 2020?

The short answer is: there are a ton of deadlines and it varies based on your business structure. It’s not as simple as a single date as it is for personal income taxes. Business taxes more or less break down into two categories:

  • Business income taxes
  • employer taxes

Business income taxes are similar to individual taxes in that you file a tax return documenting your income, profit and losses. Employer taxes are taxes related to areas such as income you pay out to employees or independent contractors, and items withheld from your employees such as Social Security and FICA taxes. What’s more, your taxes and business tax deadlines vary depending on the structure of your business. For example, C corporations vary in many ways from S corporations, one way being that they have a different business tax deadline.

Depending on your business structure, the way you file business income taxes varies. For pass-through business entities, which include sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and S corporations, your company doesn’t pay corporate income taxes. Instead, the owners or shareholders report it on personal tax returns. On the other hand, C corporations pay both corporate income tax and tax on dividends paid out to shareholders.

Bear in mind that not all pass-through business entities use the same forms. If you’re self-employed and your business is, therefore, a sole proprietorship, you would file Form 1040, the standard individual income tax return. If your business is a partnership, then you use Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income.

For an LLC, it’s slightly more complicated: You must elect to have your LLC taxed in a certain way, either as a partnership, which means using Form 1065 or as a corporation, which requires Form 1120. S corporations and C corporations also have their own tax returns forms.

Read: EIN Lookup — How to Find Business Tax IDs for Your Company and Others

Business Income Tax Deadlines in 2020

Here’s a table with key dates and forms for filing business tax returns related to business income:

Tax Item Due IRS Tax Form Due Date
Tax year 2019 fourth-quarter estimated tax payments Form 1040-ES

Form 1120-W

January 15, 2020
Partnerships/LLCs to file business tax returns. If your LLC is taxed like a partnership, then file Form 1065. If taxed like a corporation, file Form 1120. Form 1065

Form 1120

March 16, 2020
S Corps to file business tax returns Form 1120S March 16, 2020
C Corps to file business tax returns Form 1120 April 15, 2020
Sole proprietorship and single-member LLC tax returns on Schedule C Form 1040 April 15, 2020
Tax year 2020 first-quarter estimated tax payments Form 1040-ES

Form 1120-W

April 15, 2020
Tax year 2020 second-quarter estimated tax payments. Partnerships to file Form 8813 quarterly payment voucher and pay any tax due. Form 1040-ES

Form 1120-W

Form 8813

June 15, 2020
Tax year 2020 third-quarter estimated tax payments. Partnerships to file Form 8813 quarterly payment voucher and pay any tax due. Form 1040-ES

Form 1120-W

Form 8813

September 15, 2020
Tax year 2020 fourth-quarter estimated tax payments for corporations. Partnerships to file Form 8813 quarterly payment voucher and pay any tax due. Form 1040-ES

Form 1120-W

Form 8813

December 15, 2020

One thing that is central to all business structures is that they are required to make quarterly tax payments in the form of estimated taxes. Estimated tax is an important aspect of paying business taxes. Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. This income includes earnings from self-employment, interest, dividends, rents and alimony. Taxpayers who do not choose to have taxes withheld from other taxable income should also make estimated tax payments. The idea behind the estimated tax is to ensure businesses pay most of their estimated tax liability during the course of the fiscal year instead of in a single payment when tax returns are filed.

If you are looking for small business loans to take your company to the next level, contact Seek Capital today. 

Employer Taxes to File in 2020

Besides paying business or corporate income taxes, if you’re a business that employs people, you have employer taxes to file and deadlines to meet. There are also tax-related items that you must send out to individuals and organizations that you paid money to in the last year. On top of that, you also must file forms to the IRS about these payments.

Here are some of the key employer taxes you need to be aware of:

  • Income tax you withhold from your employees’ wages or from nonpayroll amounts you pay out
  • Social Security and Medicare taxes, referred to as FICA taxes, you withhold from your employees’ wages and the Social Security and Medicare taxes you must pay as an employer
  • Federal unemployment (FUTA) tax you must pay as an employer

All of these employer taxes have their respective IRS tax forms that must be submitted.

Here is a breakdown of the principal employment tax forms you may need:

Tax Form Description and Deadline
Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return This form is due the last day of the first calendar month after the calendar year ends. Use it to report the FUTA tax on wages you paid.
Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return This form is due the last day of the first calendar month after the calendar quarter ends. Use it to report Social Security and Medicare taxes and withheld income taxes on wages if your employees aren’t farm workers or household employees.
Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees This form is due the last day of the first calendar month after the calendar year ends. Use it to report Social Security and Medicare taxes and withheld income taxes on wages if your employees are farm workers.
Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return This form is due the last day of the first calendar month after the calendar year ends. Certain small employers use it instead of Form 941 to report Social Security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax.
Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax This form is due the last day of the first calendar month after the calendar year ends. Use it to report income tax withheld on all nonpayroll items. A list of nonpayroll items is available in the Instructions for Form 945.

Important Employer Tax Dates and Deadlines

There are several important dates that are related to taxes that all businesses should mark on their calendars. These tax-related items go beyond just corporate income.

Here are some of these key business deadlines for tax season:

January 31, 2020

This tax deadline is important for both filing tax returns and sending out tax forms to employees:

Read: 25 Business Tax Deductions That’ll Save You Money 

February 18, 2020

For this tax deadline, businesses must provide annual information statements to recipients of certain payments your company made during 2019. This applies only to the following types of payments:

February 28, 2020

The end of February tax deadline is primarily a follow-up to forms your business sent out to employees and other recipients the previous month:

March 31, 2020

The end of March deadline is the designated date for electronically filing, rather than paper filing, the following tax forms:

April 30, 2020

The end of April 2020 marks the start of quarterly tax filings for businesses:

  • Employers must file Form 941 for the first quarter.
  • Employers must deposit FUTA tax owed through March if more than $500.

Learn: 9 Ways to Increase Business Profits

July 31, 2020

With the second quarter of 2020 over, another round of tax filings is due:

  • Employers must file Form 941 for the second quarter.
  • Employers must deposit FUTA owed through June if more than $500.

November 2, 2020

This date comes after the end of the third quarter of 2020:

  • Employers must file Form 941 for the third quarter.
  • Employers must deposit FUTA owed through September if more than $500.

Do you have business tax questions? Check out our comprehensive guide to small business taxes for answers.

Business Tax Extension Deadlines

Many individuals and businesses may need to file documents requesting an extension of the tax due date. The key IRS form for filing a business tax extensions is Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Tax, Information, and Other Returns. Below is a breakdown of the due dates for businesses to file tax extensions by.

Note that these dates assume the businesses are calendar year taxpayers.

Business Type Due Date
Partnerships/LLCs to file extensions March 16, 2020
S Corps to file extensions March 16, 2020
C Corps to file extensions (Form 1120) April 15, 2020
Sole proprietorships to file extensions (Form 1040) April 15, 2020

It’s important to note that you cannot use one Form 7004 to cover several tax return extensions. Instead, you must file a Form 7004 for each tax return you’re requesting to extend.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, business taxes and tax filing is a complicated matter. And business income taxes also are only just half of it. The bulk of important business tax deadlines relate to employer taxes, such as the withholdings you make from your employees’ paychecks. And, if your business grows into a corporation, this brings in a whole slew of further complexities involving shares, bonds and dividends and much more. This is the principal reason why it is so commonly advised that your business employ or hire a CPA to handle your taxes. Business taxes are not an area you want to mess up when you’re trying to run a successful company.

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