It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time to start thinking about taxes. For businesses and individuals alike, December can be a busy season, but it’s important to take the time to get organized so you’re not overwhelmed by tax season.
First of all, make sure your books and financial records are up-to-date. Before December 31, it’s important to know what your projected income will be so you can plan accordingly for your tax payments. In addition to submitting tax returns and paying taxes on time, preparing early can help you decide if you want to donate to charities, buy new office supplies or equipment, or take other measures to lower your adjusted gross income and, in turn, your tax burden.
What Are Important Year-End Deadlines and Dates For Taxes For Business Owners?
- Fourth-quarter tax payments for corporations are due December 15
- Charitable donations for 2017 must be made by December 31
To write off charitable donations for the 2017 tax year, you need to make your donations by December 31. It’s also important to ensure you’re donating to an IRS-qualified charitable donation. In general, qualified charities are non-profits with a 501(c)3 status and include religious, literary, educational, and scientific groups or groups dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals or children. The IRS also keeps a database that contains most qualifying charities.
Aside from donating cash, you can also donate and write-off other types of contributions, including investments and property. Donating property allows you to deduct the current market price for the property, plus you won’t have to pay capital gains or the Net Investment Income (NII) tax.
- Purchasing office equipment and supplies to write off on 2017 taxes must be done by December 31
If you’re seeking to lower your tax burden, buying supplies and equipment for your business is a great way to lower your adjusted gross income while investing in the future of your business. Once again, you must buy the equipment or supplies before December 31, but you must also put them to use before the New Year. Buying the equipment but keeping it in storage does not count.
- Fourth-quarter tax payments for small businesses and self-employed are due January 16
The fourth quarter estimated tax payment for individual and sole proprietorships is due January 16. Usually the due date is January 15, but that date falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Therefore, the due date is January 16 this year.
- W-2 submissions are due January 31
Like last year, employers are required to submit both W-2 and 1099 forms for the 2017 tax year to employees and the SSA by January 31.
- Taxes for individuals who did not pay Q4 taxes are due January 31
Individuals and businesses that did not pay their fourth quarter taxes on January 16 can submit their taxes by January 31 to avoid a penalty.
- FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax) owed through Dec. 2017 is due by January 31
- Tax returns are due April 17
Tax day, usually April 15, falls on a weekend this year. And April 16 is an official holiday in Washington, D.C. As a result, the tax return deadline has been extended to April 17. This deadline applies to both state and federal income taxes.
- First-quarter estimated tax payments for 2018 are due April 17
Additional Year-End Tasks
Although there are no specific due dates, it makes good sense for businesses to complete these tasks at the end of the year:
- Ensure you have enough current IRS forms for the coming year
- Make updates to insurance coverage
- Make sure W-4 forms are up-to-date for each employee
- Upgrade your accounting system
With some advanced planning and organization, it’s possible to avoid the chaos that can occur from last-minute preparation and payment of taxes for business owners. By keeping in mind the year-end deadlines, dates, and tasks, owners can avoid stress for themselves and their businesses.
For more helpful tax information, contact Liberty Tax® directly at 1-877-at-Liberty, or visit a conveniently located Liberty Tax® office near you. For real-time updates, follow Liberty Tax® on Facebook and Twitter.