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2021 Deadlines for US Tax Returns

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There are a number of tax deadlines in 2021 and, as an entrepreneur, remembering each and every one of them on top of everything else is a hard feat.

To stay organized, consider this list of essential **2021-only dates to help you prepare for the year ahead.

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When Are My Taxes Due?

Getting your federal income tax return filed by the deadline is important.

However, depending on your business classification, the IRS requires different forms and deadlines as you estimate what amount will be owed.

Even though this date has passed, it's important to know that March 15 is the due date for:

  • IRS Form 1065 and Schedule K-1 for partnerships and multi-member LLCs
  • IRS Form 1120S and Schedule K-1 for S-corporations

Note: the deadline for Texas residents has been moved to June 15, 2021.

 

April 15 is the due date most everyone refers to when thinking about taxes.

Returns in this group include:

  • Sole proprietors and LLCs taxed as a disregarded entity (this means your Schedule C and your personal tax return)
    • Important: Because of COVID, the IRS postponed the original filing deadline and has given taxpayers until May 17 to either file their return or apply for an extension
  • C-Corporations required to file IRS Form 1120
    • Note: the deadline for Texas and Oklahoma residents has been moved to June 15, 2021.
      • See the IRS notice here.

I'M NOT READY TO FILE AND NEED AN EXTENSION

If you need more time to complete your taxes, there may be an option for getting an extension.

If you are a sole proprietor or the owner of an LLC taxed as a disregarded entity, you can file an extension with Form 4868.

If you are the corporate owner of an LLC taxed as a partnership or S Corporation, then use Form 7004 to extend your tax filing deadline date.

When a proper extension is filed, the IRS will not charge any penalties if you file your return by:

  • September 15 for partnerships and S-corporations
  • October 15 for sole proprietorships, C-corporations, and LLCs taxed as disregarded entities

Remember that filing extensions are strictly for your taxes. It doesn't cover taxed owed, so the IRS will require you to pay taxes owed by the deadline.

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I EVEN OWE?

Most independent contractors, LLC members and sole proprietors are required to pay estimated taxes based on current earnings. If you're running a loss, it's likely there's no estimated taxes due. However, if you know you're making money, you need to estimate your taxable income for the year and pay taxes on that amount.

The process can be a bit involved, but a good rule of thumb would be to set aside about 20% of your income and be prepared to pay Uncle Sam on the following dates below:

  • Q1: April 15
  • Q2: June 15
  • Q3: September 15
  • Q4: January 18, 2022 (December 15 for C-corporations only)

If you'd like more info on estimated tax payments, you can check it out on the IRS.gov website here.

WHAT ABOUT PAYROLL TAXES? I HAVE EMPLOYEES...

When you have employees, you're either required to file Form 944 (annual reporting) or Form 941 (quarterly reporting; most common). Form 944 is due by January 31, 2022. The quarterly reports are due:

  • Q1: April 30
  • Q2: August 2
  • Q3: November 1
  • Q4: January 31, 2022

Small businesses maintain a year-round focus on tax compliance, but one way to make sure you're not missing any important deadlines is to use apps and calendars that can help you stay organized. 

The IRS has an online calendar with a complete list of tax-related due dates for businesses and self-employed individuals. You can view that here.

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