When are taxes due in 2021 and what do I need to file? Everything you need to know to go ahead of your taxes hoodoos this year and beyond.

If you’ve ever accidentally missed a tax filing deadline, you know how frustrating it is to pay a fine you could easily have avoided.

So, set aside sometime now to review 2021 tax deadlines, and make a note of them in your calendar. 

Keep in mind, however, that tax deadlines can move. We saw that happen in 2020, thanks to COVID-19. 

This year, as a response to the pandemic, evolves and the Presidency changes hands, stay on guard for any adjustments to the tax schedule.

To be absolutely certain you hit your deadlines and avoid costly mistakes, sign up for BenchTax.

Bench will effortlessly merge your Bench bookkeeping with professional tax filing services—so your taxes are filed on time and you benefit from as many deductions as possible.

Happy Tax Day 2021!

The special day comes on April 15, 2021. It’s the day you have to file taxes—you don’t need to pay them til later.

When do you have to pay your taxes?

Self-employed business owners (sole proprietors and single-member LLCs) typically pay their taxes in four instalments over the course of the year. In 2021, these quarterly estimated payments are due:

  • April 15
  • June 15
  • September 15
  • January 15 (2022)

If you’re late paying taxes, you’ll have to pay 0.5% of the unpaid amount every month.

Those percentage points can add up to a total no higher than 25% of your total tax bill.

Tax extension deadlines for 2021

You can file for a tax extension any time before your filing is due. Meaning, individuals have until April 15; S corps and partnerships have until March 15, and C corps have until April 15.

Below, you can find every 2021 tax deadline in chronological order.

January 15, 2021

Estimated quarterly payments

So long, 2020! Today is the deadline for your fourth and final estimated quarterly tax payment for the previous tax year.

Individual filers: You don’t have to meet this deadline, so long as you file your 2020 return before January 31, 2021, and pay off the balance you own on your return (Form 1040-ES has more details.)

Forms:

February 1, 2021

Form W-2 filing deadline

Have employees? You need to fill out two copies of Form W-2 for each.

One of these W-2s you submit to the IRS. The other you send to the employee. Both are due on February 1, 2021.

Forms:

Form 1099-NEC Copy A filing deadline

If you have independent contractors, you’ll need to file the 1099-NEC form by February 1, 2021.

Copy A need to go to the IRS by this date, and Copy B needs to be delivered to the contractor.

Forms:

March 1, 2021

Form 1099-MISC paper filing deadline

Some 1099s need a 1099-MISC form.

March 1 is the due date for paper filing. If you file electronically, your deadline is March 31. Copy A needs to go to the IRS, and copy B needs to go to the recipient.

When you sign up for BenchTax, you get paper-free filing every year, with the seamless handoff from your bookkeepers to your tax filers. Learn more about BenchTax.

Forms:

March 15, 2021

S corporation and partnership tax returns due

If you run a partnership or an S corp, today is your filing deadline. See Form 1120-S for S corps and Form 1065 for partnerships.

Remember that S corps and partnerships don’t pay taxes on their income. Individual shareholders or partners do, however. 

March 15 is also the deadline to file an extension for your S corp or partnership.

Forms:

March 31, 2021

Form 1099-MISC Copy A filing deadline

Some 1099s require Form 1099-MISC. 

Falling under this category: Payments to an individual or LLC of at least $600. That can take the form of rent, legal settlements, or prizes/awards.

This due date only applies to electronic filing.

Send Copy A to the IRS, and Copy B to the entity you paid.

Forms:

April 15, 2021

Estimated quarterly payments

Hurray! It’s your first quarterly estimated tax payment for 2021. Today’s the deadline—so, if you make quarterly estimated payments, it’s time to pay.

Forms:

Individual tax returns are due

Today is your last day to file individual tax returns (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ). 

If your income for 2020 was under $66,000, you can e-file for free with IRS Free File. If your income was higher, you can use the free fillable forms offered by the IRS.

Are you a sole proprietor filing Schedule C on your personal return? If so, this April 15, 2021 deadline also applies to you.

C corporation tax returns due

Today is your last day to file a C corporation tax return (Form 1120).

For corporate tax returns, April 15 is also the deadline to file for an extension.

Forms:

State tax returns

States set and enforce their own tax deadlines. You can find state deadlines here.

June 15, 2021

Estimated quarterly payments

Your second quarterly tax payment of the year is due today.

Forms:

Also, July 15 is your deadline to file for an extension for your individual tax return.

September 15, 2021

Estimated quarterly payments

Your third 2021 quarterly tax payment of the year is due today.

If you are an S corporation or partnership, and you successfully filed for an extension, your tax return is due now.

Forms:

October 15, 2021

C corporations that filed for tax extensions must file their income tax today.

Forms:

November 1, 2021

Time for tax moves

End of year tax moves can help you plan for growth and reduce your taxable income for 2021. Now is the time to leap into action—the year is soon coming to an end.

December 31, 2021

Tax moves deadline

Today is your last chance to make tax moves for the 2021 tax year.

Set up a solo 401 (k)

Self-employed? Today is your last chance to set up a solo 401 (k).

When can I start filing taxes for 2021?

Can’t wait to get started? You can file next year’s tax return as early as January 1, 2021.

When do I get my tax refund?

In 2018, 90% of those who filed online received their refund less than 21 calendar days after the IRS received their return.

Keep in mind: This promise is not a promise from the IRS, just a general trend. And refunds may take longer this year due to complications and extra workload from COVID-19. 

But, in general, expect to get a refund 3-4 weeks after filing your return

What’re the best ways to make sure you get your refund ASAP? 

Have professionals file it online for you.

Sign up for BenchTax, and your bookkeeper will work with professional tax filers to get everything filed correctly and on time—without missing out on any deductions.

Related: How to File Your Small Business Taxes 2021

Author: Bryce Warnes 

Bio: Bryce is a writer for Bench, the online bookkeeping service that pairs you with a team of professional bookkeepers who do your bookkeeping, so you don’t have to.

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