There are few things in life as universally applicable as the phrase “timing is everything.” When it comes to your taxes, timing is critical. With so much focus placed on information that belongs in your tax return – which deductions are allowable and which tax credits are available – it is easy to overlook the new filing deadlines for 2016 tax returns.
Most notable are new due dates for partnership and corporate tax returns and reporting of foreign information. Hefty penalties apply, so knowing the due dates are important. Let’s dig in and look at how these changes may affect you or your business.
The usual filing deadline is April 15 and it’s a procrastinator’s dream once again. Like last year, you have a few extra days to get your ducks in order. Since April 15 falls on a Saturday and Washington D.C.’s Emancipation Day holiday is observed on April 17, this year’s tax deadline is April 18.
Previously, partnerships shared the same April 15 filing deadline as individuals. This was often problematic for individuals holding partnership interests. So the filing deadline for partnership tax returns has been moved up one month to March 15. Partnership tax returns are due 2 ½ months after year-end. An automatic six-month extension of time to file is available from the original due date of the return. For calendar year partnerships, the extended due date is Sept. 15.
Calendar year C-corporations get a break with a change in filing date to April 15 (previously March 15). Note that this year’s filing deadline is April 18 thanks to D.C.’s Emancipation Day. For now, the extended due date for a calendar year C-corporation is Sept. 15.
Fiscal year C-corporations (other than June 30) are now due 3 ½ months after year-end and may file for a six-month extension.
With every rule, it seems there is an exception. June 30 year-end C-corporations are excluded from these deadline changes for now. The tax filing deadline of Sept. 15 remains unchanged for June 30 year-end C-corporations. A seven-month extension is available until April 15.
There are no changes to the due dates of S-corporations. Calendar year S-corporations are still due on March 15 with an extended due date of Sept. 15. Fiscal year-end S-corporations are due 2 ½ months following year-end and may file for a six-month extension.
FOREIGN INFORMATION REPORTING
If you have signature authority or interest in a foreign financial account, you may have a reporting requirement. The FinCEN Form 114, also known as the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report, now shares the same deadline as individual tax returns and a six-month extension is available. Previously, filings were due June 30 and extensions were not allowed.
Exempt organizations with a calendar year-end are due May 15. However, there are changes to extension procedures. Previously, organizations were allowed up to two 90-day extensions. Going forward, organizations only file one six-month extension. Fiscal year exempt organizations are due 4 ½ months after year-end.
trusts and estates
For trusts and estates filing a Form 1041 tax return, the deadline remains April 15 (April 18 for this filing season); however, the extended due date is now Sept. 30 instead of Sept. 15.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to taxes, timing really is everything. Failing to file a return on time can result in hefty and completely avoidable penalties. Reach out to a tax professional if you are unsure when your tax filings are due.
Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 324-4971. The views expressed in this column are her own.