Tax deadlines get complex for entrepreneurs and the self-employed, who may have to submit items to the authorities on more than one instance during the year. Brace yourself for several answers to the question: What’s the last day for income and business taxes in 2018?
People who file as self-employed have the option of paying estimated income taxes on a quarterly basis — but this does not take the place of the annual return.
Rather this simply gives you the option to divvy up your payments to the tax authorities into four smaller transactions.
As such, quarterly payments are technically optional, the assumption being that self-employed people might have quarters with no income.
Pay More Often If You Incorporated
This contrasts how income tax payments work for entrepreneurs who have incorporated their own businesses.
As soon as you’re paying yourself and making the equivalent of at least $1,200 a month of income, the IRS expects you to set up tax withholding on those earnings.
Make less than that and you get to choose between paying quarterly and annually.
If you do pay quarterly, the payment for the first quarter is due on the same day as your annual income tax return — April 17 — and the other quarters’ payments are due on June 15, October 15 and December 15.
Business Tax Returns
If you’ve incorporated your business (as an S-corp or a C-corp), you’ve got two sets of annual tax return deadlines to worry about, whereas those who file as self-employed only file online income tax returns.
If you file as self employed, you don’t have to file a business tax return, only an income tax return.
For those who’ve incorporated, hopefully you already filed your business tax return — the deadline was March 15 — or you submitted IRS form 7004 by that same date to get a six-month extension. It’s automatically approved, and apparently 6 million businesses get extensions.
Income Tax Return Deadline
Then, the income tax return deadline is April 17, up until 11:59 pm. April 17 is also the deadline to apply for an extension if you fill out form 4868, which is approved automatically.
You can apply for a second extension through submitting the same form again by the deadline date of October 15. That moves your final deadline to December 15. This second extension is not an option for businesses.
Even if you file for an extension, your tax payment is still due on the deadline day — for both business and income tax returns. This makes extensions tricky, since you won’t know how much you owe or are owed as a refund until you file that return.
Interest and Penalties
However, if you wait to pay until October 15 or December 15, the agency may charge you six or nine months’ worth of interest, respectively, plus possible penalties.
You can avoid the expense if you just file your return on time, by April 17, and include a payment for as much as you can afford — even if it’s only a penny. Then request a payment plan from among the choices described on the IRS website.
From there, you can always file an amendment to your return by October 15 if you still have outstanding concerns.
Fellow entrepreneurs, which tax deadlines are part of your strategy this year? And what outstanding questions do you have about this year’s’ filing season?
Read More About Taxes
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- What’s the Deal with the New Tax Law?
- Hire an Accountant as Soon as Possible
- Why You Need a Retirement Plan Now
- How Does One Choose an Entity Type?