Business tax: 4 deadlines small businesses need to know about

Dustin Johnson
By Dustin Johnson
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If you haven’t owned a small business, you may think of tax season as one time of year, revolving around April 15th. Small business owners soon learn, however, that they need to think about taxes more than once a year. While it can seem intimidating at first, with some organization like the kind ComplYant offers, the various tax deadlines you’ll face as a small business owner can be managed. The first step is being aware of them. Here are a few to focus on.

Federal taxes

The first thing that surprises many small business owners is that tax day may not be when you’ve grown used to expecting it. If you opt to incorporate your business, your tax return may be due on March 15th. But it may fall at another time of year if your CPA has suggested that you not use a calendar-year accounting method. Being aware of the different tax date for corporations can help save you headaches (and money!), so be sure to be aware of when your business federal tax filing deadline is.

In addition to your federal return, your business may also need to pay taxes quarterly. This may depend on your business structure and whether you have employees. Three months can zip by quickly, so it’s important to be aware of when your quarterly payments are due. Avoid penalties by paying the estimated tax on schedule. 

| The first thing that surprises many small business owners is that tax day may not be when you’ve grown used to expecting it

Employment Taxes

If your business has employees, you’ll also want to be on top of employment tax deadlines. Not only must you turn over the amount of taxes you’ve withheld from employee paychecks in a prompt manner, but your business also has certain obligations to match amounts. Per the IRS website, “Generally, employers must report wages, tips, and other compensation paid to an employee by filing the required Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.” You’ll want to check in with your tax professional to decide whether this applies to your business. 

State Income Taxes

As a small business owner, you won’t just be dealing with the federal government. You’ll also need to stay up to date with your state’s tax deadlines. You should also keep on top of any other business license and other requirements specific to your state that may have deadlines. Many, but not all, states follow IRS deadlines, so be sure to know your state’s due dates. 

Excise Taxes

Certain types of businesses have to pay excise taxes. Often, these businesses are those that sell  items that are considered luxury goods and those in industries involving alcohol, tobacco, or firearms. A few examples include businesses involved in indoor tanning, gambling, sports betting, fuel, and medical marijuana. You’ll want to check if your business activities make your business liable for excise taxes. These are paid on a different schedule than federal income taxes.

Business taxes made easy

It can seem like a lot to stay on top of all the different deadlines that small businesses are subject to. But it's manageable. That’s ComplYant’s core mission: to free up small business owners to run their businesses by simplifying how you track your tax deadlines.

Get started on the road to tax deadline management today 

Dustin Johnson
By Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson is a Senior Tax Research Specialist at ComplYant. Prior to joining ComplYant, he spent over eleven years performing tax research at the world’s largest tax preparation company. Dustin holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor. Outside of work, Dustin enjoys biking and spending time with his family.

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