Business tax deadline 2021: When is the business tax filing deadline?

Panna Kemenes
04.28.21
7 minute read

Filing taxes is hard enough when you only have your own payments to worry about. When you own a business, filing taxes becomes infinitely more complicated.

If you’re wondering when your business taxes are due, read on: You'll find all the important business tax deadline dates below.

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📝 Table of contents

What is the business tax deadline for 2021?

Depending on the type of business you run and what your primary source of income is, you may have different business tax filing deadlines.

Income tax

Everyone will need to file income tax, including business owners. The type of income tax deadline you need to pay attention to varies by the type of business you own and the state in which you operate.

If you are following the calendar year, use the following dates¹ for income tax payments/estimated tax payments:

  • January 15: individuals who did not make a payment for estimated tax for the last quarter of 2020, including farmers and fishermen

  • February 1: annual information statements to the recipients of certain payments made throughout 2020. These payments include cash payments for fish, rent, royalties, profit-sharing distributions, and more

  • April 15: quarterly tax payment due for the first quarter if following the calendar year

  • June 15: quarterly tax payment due for the second quarter if following the calendar year

  • September 15: quarterly tax payment due for the third quarter if following the calendar year

If you are following a different fiscal year, you will need to change some of your income tax estimated payment dates.

Business owners have the opportunity to set their fiscal years to different dates compared to the calendar year.

Your estimated tax payments will instead be due on the 15th day of the fourth, sixth, and ninth months of your tax year, as well as the 15th day of the first month after your tax year ends.

This roughly coincides with the same quarter lengths as if you followed the calendar year for your business².

Business tax deadline

Employment tax

Employment taxes must be made if you are an employer and pay one or more employees in wages, tips, or other compensation.

All of your payroll withholdings and employment tax payments must be submitted either semi-weekly or monthly. This is based on your filing status.

Monthly deposit schedule: Deposit your employment taxes by the 15th day of the following month.

Semi-weekly schedule: Deposit taxes for payments made on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday by the following Wednesday. Taxes for payments made on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday must be made by the following Friday.

Important employment tax dates³ are as follows:

  • January 31: file Forms 940, 943, 945, and Copy A of all paper forms for W-2s, Wages and Tax Statements, as well as Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements. Additionally, file Copy A of Form 1099 and 1096

  • February 28: file Copy A of paper Form 1099 with 1096, as well as paper Form 8027

  • March 31: file electronic Form 1099 as well as electronic Form 8027 with the IRS

You may have taken the option to defer withholding your employees' share of payroll taxes due to COVID-19. In this case, any taxes between September 1 and December 31, 2020, must be paid by April 30, 2021.

Nonemployee compensation

Your business may also make payments to “nonemployees”. These are services performed for your business by a person who is not treated as an employee.

Note that you only need to pay taxes for nonemployee compensation if you pay them $600 or more. If you do:

  • January 31: file Form 1099-NEC each year

Excise tax

Business owners must also pay excise taxes, which are imposed on goods, services, and other activities. All excise taxes are paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually⁴. This depends on industry-specific requirements⁵.

  • If your business is a retailer, manufacturer, communication company, or travel service, file Form 720, the Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. April 30, July 30, October 29, 2021, and January 31, 2022.

  • If your business accepts wagers, you must file Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering, before you accept any bets, as well as Form 730 every subsequent month.

  • If your company operates heavy highway vehicles, you must file Form 2290 by the last day of the vehicle’s first month of service. Afterward, your excise tax period runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Excise tax

Corporate tax deadline: when are corporate taxes due?

If your business counts as a corporation, you must also navigate extra tax deadlines and forms.

Your corporate taxes will be due at different times depending on the structure of your corporation.

If you have a C-corporation (a corporation where the owners or shareholders are taxed separately from the company entity), your deadlines are:

  • April 15, 2021, if your corporation operates on a calendar year
  • October 15, 2021, if you decide to use the extended deadline

If your corporation operates on a fiscal year, your tax deadline is the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of your fiscal year.

In all cases, file IRS Form 1120.

2021 estimated income tax for corporations

If you have a corporation and need to pay estimated income tax, you follow the same basic estimated income tax due dates as other entities. These dates⁶ are:

  • April 15 for the first quarter
  • June 15 for the second quarter
  • September 15 for the third quarter
  • December 15 for the fourth quarter

Partnership and S-corporation tax deadline

Naturally, partnerships and S-corporations have different tax deadlines as well.

For S-corporations operating on a calendar year:

  • March 15, 2021: regular tax deadline. File Form 1120-S
  • September 15, 2021: extended tax deadline. File Form 1120-S

For S-corporations with a different fiscal year:

  • The 15th day of the third month following the end of the fiscal year⁷.

If your business is any kind of partnership, the IRS automatically treats your business as though it operates on a different fiscal year from the calendar year, regardless of whether it actually does so.

As a result, your business’s tax deadline is still the 15th day of the third month following the end of your fiscal year.

If you follow the calendar year, this would be March 15, 2022. File Form 1065 in any case.

LLC tax filing deadline

LLCs are company structures that provide various financial and legal benefits for their owners.

By default, LLCs are not treated as corporations, although you can elect to have them be treated as such and receive different tax dates.

If you choose to treat your LLC as a corporation, your tax dates are:

  • April 15, 2022: overall tax due date if you follow the calendar year for your fiscal year

  • 15th day of the fourth month after your fiscal year ends: overall tax due date if you have a different fiscal year

If you choose to run your LLC as a sole proprietorship:

The IRS taxes you like an individual. Your income and expenses are therefore reported on your personal tax return.

This is usually due on April 15 of each year, but has been extended to May 17 for 2021. File Form 1040, and you’ll be good to go.

LLC tax deadline

Quarterly payroll taxes for employers

If you employ one or more people in your business, you should file Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. Then deposit your taxes on the following dates⁹:

  • April 30 for first quarter
  • July 31 for second quarter
  • October 31 for third quarter
  • January 31 for fourth quarter of the previous calendar year

The IRS gives you an additional 10 calendar days to file your return if you deposit all your taxes before they are due.

Requirements for federal excise tax

Pay special attention to which types of excise tax forms you may be required to file.

  • File Form 720 if you are required to pay quarterly Federal excise tax returns
  • File Form 11-C if you need to file for wagering income
  • File Form 2290 if your business uses heavy highway vehicles

Furthermore, you must file these forms each quarter of the calendar year, with due dates as follows:

  • April 30 for first quarter
  • July 31 for second quarter
  • October 31 for third quarter
  • January 31 for fourth quarter of the previous year

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Sources:

  1. IRS income tax - Page 3
  2. IRS estimated tax - Page 5
  3. IRS - Employment tax due dates
  4. IRS - Excise tax
  5. IRS - Excise tax overview
  6. IRS estimated income tax - Page 5
  7. IRS - S-corporation - Page 4
  8. IRS - Tax deadline extension
  9. IRS - Payroll tax

All sources checked 28 April 2021.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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