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Changed Filing Deadlines for 2016 Tax Returns

September 19, 2016 : Mike Slack - The Tax Institute

In 2015, the President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act. Given the title it may be surprising that a bill primarily dealing with highway infrastructure funding has a large impact on tax returns; particularly business returns.

The new law changes deadlines for some businesses. It starts with 2016 tax returns filed in 2017.

Tax Return Due Date For Calendar-Year Businesses
Entity Type Return Prior Due Date New Due Date
Partnerships Form 1065 April 15 March 15
C corporations Form 1120 March 15 April 15
S corporations Form 1120S March 15 March 15

Partnerships (Form 1065)

Under prior law, partnerships had to file a tax return by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the tax year. This meant that partnerships based on a calendar tax year had to file their tax returns on the same date as individual tax returns, typically on April 15. Because the due dates of partnerships and individuals coincided with each other, individuals holding partnership interests often had to file for an extension to file their returns because their Schedule K-1s reporting crucial information from their partnerships may not arrive until after the due date.

The new law was created to make it easier on individual partners by moving the partnership due date to the 15th day of the third month after the end of the tax year. Thus, a calendar year partnership now has to file by March 15. This gives individual partners an extra month to receive the necessary information from their partnerships to report on their personal tax returns.

C Corporations (Form 1120)

Under prior law, all corporations had to file their tax returns by the 15 day of the third month after the end of their tax year. This meant corporations that were based on calendar tax year had to file their tax return by March 15.

The new law changed this by moving the due date for corporations that file Form 1120 (often referred to as “C corporations”) to the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the tax year. Thus, a calendar year C corporations will have to file by April 15.

S Corporations (Form 1120S)

The due date for small business corporations filing a Form 1120S (referred to as S corporations) was left untouched at the 15th day of the third month after the end of their tax year. This mean S corporations that are based on calendar tax year will continue have to file a tax return by March 15.

The reasoning for the lack of change is that S corporations and their individual owners are taxed in a manner very similar to partnerships; meaning their owners need information reported on a Schedule K-1 from the business in order to file their own tax return. Continuing to have the one-month period between the S corporation and individual due dates gives the owners of the business some breathing room.

Individuals (Form 1040)

With some exceptions an individual’s Form 1040, 1040-A, or 1040-EZ tax return is due on April 15, and that general rule remains the same. However, 2016 individual income tax returns filed in 2017, will be due on April 18.

This is not the result of the new law, but rather for two reasons:

  1. April 15, 2017 falls on a Saturday and obviously most of the government is closed on the weekend.
  2. The District of Columbia will observe Emancipation Day on Monday, April 17, and IRS offices will be closed for the holiday. Therefore, the IRS will push the federal filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18.

The due date will revert back to being April 15 in the future.

Tune in for more tax tips on the H&R Block Talk blog!

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Mike Slack - The Tax Institute

Mike Slack - The Tax Institute

The Tax Institute

Mike Slack, JD, EA, is a senior tax research analyst at The Tax Institute. Mike leads research teams focused on business and investment tax issues.

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