Attention: Farmers and Fishermen Have Different Tax Deadlines
March 10, 2017 : Mike Slack - The Tax Institute
Editor’s Note: Individuals with income from farming and fishing have special filing requirements and due dates for their tax returns this year! Tune in if this applies to you.
Qualifying farmers and fishermen, or those whose gross income from farming or fishing is at least two-thirds of their annual gross income for the current (2016) or prior year (2015).
Qualifying farmers or fishermen must make at least one estimated tax payment each year to avoid IRS underpayment penalties. For the 2016 tax year, this quarterly payment would have been due on Jan. 17, 2017. When a qualifying farmer or fisherman has made the appropriate estimated payment by then, their 2016 tax return will not be due until April 18, 2017.
On the hand, if a qualifying farmer or fisherman didn’t make the appropriate estimated payment by the Jan. 17 due date, and didn’t have enough tax withheld otherwise, their 2016 tax return due date is now March 1, 2017. (There is no ability to extend the March 1 tax return filing and tax payment date if the Jan. 17 payment was not made.)
What Happens if the Deadline is Missed?
What happens if a qualifying farmer or fisherman didn’t make the Jan. 17 payment and can’t file before March 1? There is some saving grace. The failure to file and late payment penalties don’t apply unless their return is filed after the normal due date of the return of April 18, 2017 (generally April 15 for other years). Instead, failing to file by March 1 will require the taxpayer to make quarterly estimated payments for the 2017 tax year.
It is important to recognize that the March 1 filing and payment date for farmers only has importance for estimated tax purposes. Other Form 1040 -related deadlines still hinge on the tax return due date, which remains April 15. Thus, even though a qualifying farmer files the return and pays all tax by March 1, the taxpayer can still make IRA or qualified retirement plan contributions for the year by the normal April 15 due date for filing the return.
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