You don’t have to become a tax expert but it helps to know about new tax rules so you won’t be caught off guard. Here are the top deadlines and rules you should be aware of in the next few weeks and months:
Upcoming Tax Deadlines and Income Tax Return Filing Changes
September 15 is one of the many tax deadlines that punctuate the year and mark each month with a deadline of one sort or another. Most importantly, September 15th is the last day to file 2014 returns on extension for calendar year corporations, partnerships, and trusts. Several of these are flow-through entities and their returns produce income tax information (K-1 forms) that flow to the individual owners’ returns. 2014 individual income tax returns on extension are due October 15.
Congress recently passed a bill that includes some changes to the due dates for income tax returns. These changes are not effective until 2017, for 2016 returns. The filing deadline for partnership returns will be moved up to March 15 with a potential six month extension to September 15. This deadline matches the current deadline for S corporation returns. The change is designed to improve the process of getting flow through information prepared early enough to allow individual partners or shareholders to file their own income tax returns by April 15th.
To offset the shift for partnership returns, the deadline for regular C corporation returns will be moved to April 15. These changes are expected to reduce the overall need for individual income tax return extensions. This is welcome news for individual investors who would prefer to file by April 15th but find themselves extending their returns, waiting for that one last K-1 to arrive.
Deadlines for Your Retirement Plans
Besides return due dates, there are deadlines for establishing various retirement plans. Some plans need to be set up by the end of this calendar year in order to claim a deduction on a 2015 return. Others can be established up to the filing deadline of the tax return, in some cases up to the extended due date. There are a variety of plans with different requirements and suitability for businesses and self-employed individuals. For most, you will want to pay attention to the following:
- 2014 SEP plans may be established by the due date of the return including extensions.
- SIMPLE plans must be established by October 1 in order to fund them and take a deduction for the contribution on 2015 returns.
- December 31 is the deadline for establishing profit sharing, 401K, and defined benefit plans.
- Individual Retirement Accounts may be established by April 15, 2016 in order to claim a deduction for 2015.
A Quick Review
For your convenience, here is a run-down of tax and other tax related deadlines through the end of 2015:
- September 15
- 2014 income tax returns on extension for corporations, trusts, and partnerships are due.
- Due date for 3rd Quarter 2015 estimated tax payments for corporations, individuals, and fiduciaries.
- Required minimum contributions due to defined benefit or money purchase Keogh plans.
- October 1
- Deadline for establishing a SIMPLE plan for small business owners.
- October 15
- Due date for 2014 individual income and gift tax returns on extension.
- 2014 calendar year employee benefit returns on extension due (Forms 5500 and 5500-EZ).
- 2014 Keogh or SEP-IRA contributions must be made by today if the related individual return is on extension.
- November 15
- 2014 June 30 fiscal year end exempt organization returns due (Form 990 and Form 990 EZ).
- December 15
- Due date for 4th Qtr. 2015 federal and state estimated tax payments for corporations.
- December 31
- Deadline for establishing a new retirement plan: Qualified plans (Keogh, Profit-sharing, 401K, or defined benefit plans, for calendar year businesses) must be adopted by December 31.
The Bottom Line
Start early doing prep work for your income tax so you’ll have a successful tax return experience. If you have any questions or concerns about meeting the above deadlines, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you decide the best strategy to meet your tax filing obligations and minimize or avoid any late-payment penalties.
About MKS&H: McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by putting complex financial data into truly meaningful context. But deeper than dollars and data, our focus is on developing an understanding of you, your culture and your business goals. This approach enables our clients to achieve their greatest potential.