2021 Tax Filing Deadlines for Businesses

Different types of taxes are due to federal and local authorities on different days. Avoid penalties with this overview of filing deadlines for 2021.

Bookmark(1)

No account yet? Register

person with calendar notebook 2021 planning
Mark your calendar now for important tax deadlines for 2021

It’s that time of year again: businesses are putting together their tax filing and payment plans for 2021. While April 15 is the most recognizable tax due date, there are many other dates small and medium-sized businesses should mark on their calendar to assure they are compliant with all filing requirements.

Businesses must pay taxes in several categories. The Internal Revenue Service at the federal level collects income and payroll taxes. Most states also collect business income tax or taxes on gross receipts.

The District of Columbia and 44 states levy corporate taxes. Ohio, Nevada, Texas, and Washington base their business taxes on gross receipts. Only South Dakota and Wyoming have no corporate income tax or gross receipts tax for 2020. Generally, states follow federal guidelines for tax due dates: on April 15 annual federal taxes are due and typically also in each state. Check with your state’s Department of Revenue for additional deadlines.

Here are key tax filing dates to remember for 2021.

Quarterly tax due dates

Sole proprietorships and the self-employed file taxes quarterly. These estimated tax payments are due 15 days after the quarter ends. In addition to quarterly filings, these small businesses also file annually on April 15.

What is the threshold for quarterly tax filing? 

Small businesses that are classified as S- and C-corporations file quarterly if they anticipate they will owe more than $500 in taxes for the quarter filed. Sole proprietorships file quarterly if they anticipate they will owe more than $1,000 in tax for the quarter.

Quarterly tax deadlines 

Quarter 1: January 1 through March 31

Deadline: April 15

Quarter 2: April 1 through May 31

Deadline: June 15

Quarter 3: June 1 through August 31

Deadline: September 15

Quarter 4: September 1 through December 31

Deadline: January 15 of the following year

tax deadline april 15

Annual tax due dates

Due dates for annual returns vary, depending on the type of business. The structure of your organization must be decided before you file tax returns. Corporations, LLCs, and partnerships generally work through state agencies to create their status. The Secretary of State website in each state outlines how to register your business entity. These businesses typically file their taxes annually. Tax due dates for 2021, based on status:

March 15, 2021:

Partnerships

S-corporations

April 15, 2021:

Sole proprietorships

C-corporations

Need more time? 

If you need more time to file your annual taxes, you may request a 6 month extension from the IRS. Sole proprietors and LLCs with only a single member (owner) can use Form 4868 to ask for an extension. Other companies will need to use Form 7004.

A request for an extension should include any estimated tax payment you anticipate will be due.

An extension request does not guarantee the extension is approved. A request for an extension should include any estimated tax payment you anticipate will be due. Use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to pay taxes online and to request an extension.

If an extension request is approved, final, completed returns and taxes due must be submitted by:

September 15, 2021:

  • S-corporations
  • Partnerships

October 15, 2021:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • LLCs taxed as a disregarded entity
  • C-corporations

There are penalties for late payment. Federally, even with an extension, you could be assessed an additional 0.5% of the tax due monthly until the original tax due is fully paid. There is a maximum 25% of your total tax bill penalty allowed under the law.

Payroll taxes

Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA) are paid more frequently. FICA contributions, withheld from each employee, fund Medicare and Social Security. FUTA taxes provide unemployment compensation for employees out of work.

FICA 

FICA taxes withheld from employee salaries are paid by employers through the EFTPS system. Small companies, with $50,000 or less in employment taxes, may make deposits monthly. Larger companies make payments semi-weekly.

Monthly Payroll/FICA tax payments — small companies. Due by the 15th day of the following month.

Semi-weekly Payroll/FICA tax payments — large companies. Determined by the day of the week you pay employees.

If you pay employees on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday:

  • Due by Wednesday of the following week

If you pay employees on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday:

  • Due by Friday of the following week

FUTA 

Federal unemployment (FUTA) due dates are based on the amount of tax owed. FUTA tax rates are currently 6.0% of the first $7,000 in wages paid to each employee in 2020. Employers receive a credit against federal FUTA taxes if they paid state unemployment tax. A credit of up to 5.4% can be applied (depending on the state rate paid). For most employers, the FUTA rate, after credit, is 0.6%.

Employers whose FUTA tax due will be more than $500 annually make quarterly payments on or before the last day of the month after the end of the quarter. Deposits are made to the EFTPS site:

Quarter 1: January 1 through March 31

Deadline: April 30

Quarter 2: April 1 through May 31

Deadline: June 30

Quarter 3: June 1 through August 31

Deadline: September 30

Quarter 4: September 1 through December 31

Deadline: January 31

If a business’ FUTA will be less than $500 for the year, they make a deposit annually by January 31 for the previous year. File Form 940 to report and pay your annual federal contribution. Deadlines for individual state FUTA taxes may vary, but generally align with federal due dates: check the deadlines in your area.

person with calculator

How to make payments 

You may mail payments or submit them online. Federally, you can submit payments up to 8:00 pm on the due date. Using IRS Direct Pay gives businesses up to  midnight on the due date to file and make payments. IRS Direct Pay accepts debit and credit card payments. Check your local Department of Revenue to determine where to make state payments.

It’s important to make all state and federal taxes on time. Failure to make the required payments could result in fines and penalties. If you use a third-party provider to make payments, request verification that payments have been submitted.

It’s important to make all state and federal taxes on time. Failure to make the required payments could result in fines and penalties. If you use a third-party provider to make payments, request verification that payments have been submitted.

Non-payment filing dates

Filing requirements don’t stop at payments due and made. There are non-payment filings that must be made to comply with federal  law. Some states have similar requirements as well. Check with your state Department of Revenue or Labor for more due dates. Federally, remember these due dates:

FICA and FUTA withholding 

In addition to payments, employers must report all FICA and FUTA withholdings on a quarterly basis. Use Form 941 to report all funds that have been withheld from employees and FUTA taxes due and paid to the IRS. Deadlines to file Form 941:

  • April 30
  • July 31
  • November 2
  • February 1

W-2 and 1099 Forms 

If you have employees, you must report and verify their past years’ earnings to the IRS. Submit one copy of their W-2 Form by February 1, 2021. You should provide another copy to the staff member on or before that date. If you use a third-party payroll provider, verify they’ve issued the necessary W-2 forms to the IRS and employees.

For independent contractors your organization has used in the past year, the IRS has a new 1099-NEC Form to submit. The new Non-employee Compensation form is similar to standard W-2 forms, with some minor exceptions. This is also due on February 1, 2021.

You may file these informational returns electronically to the IRS through the IRS Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system.

ACA reports

Eligible employers who are required to provide healthcare coverage for employees under the Affordable Care Act file reports annually that outline covered individuals and premiums paid. Form 1095-C must be submitted by February 28, 2021. For businesses filing electronically, the due date is March 31, 2021. You may submit the form through the Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) system.

Filing and paying taxes and submitting the required forms can be complex and time consuming. Many SMBs outsource their payroll function to save time, labor, and cut down on the administrative duties required to comply with state and federal tax laws. This best practice can also assure your organization is current with all local and national mandates.

Bookmark(1)

No account yet? Register

Might also interest you