Tax dates

5 Important January Tax Dates Small Businesses Need to Know About

The new year means a fresh start for small business, as well as knowing that the 2017 tax season is fast approaching. For small business owners, however, most months come with their own set of tax payment due dates. While it’s easy to accidentally miss a deadline, it’s never fun to pay the penalties that come with it. Pencil these five tax dates in your calendar for January to ensure your business stays organized and in compliance all month long.

January 16: Fourth Quarter 2016 Estimated Tax Payment

If you have any fourth quarter income that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes or if you are self-employed, this is your reminder that fourth quarterly taxes are due. As shared by Intuit QuickBooks, this fee covers your October, November and December 2016 taxes.

January 17: Estimated Tax Payments (Form 1040ES)

This is your deadline to file Form 1040ES for estimated tax payments. If you have income that is not subject to withholding, like freelance work or self-employment, this is the tax that pays for that income. For entrepreneurs that don’t elect voluntary withholding, the IRS recommends making estimated tax payments on taxable income.

Related: 3 Tax Season Tips for Small Business Owners

January 20: Sales Tax

All throughout January, nearly every online seller has a sales tax filing deadline. Be sure to check what the dates and filing frequencies for your state look like. Most states set due dates for monthly, quarterly and annual sales tax on January 20, though there are some exceptions. In California, annual sales tax is due on January 16 while monthly and quarterly sales tax is due on January 31. South Dakota sets different deadlines based on whether you file online or through the mail and in New York, quarterly and annual sales tax isn’t due until March 20 and 21, respectively.

When filing sales tax, TaxJar advises you report your owed tax for each state where you have a sales tax nexus. If you didn’t collect sales tax, you’ll need to file a zero return. This return reminds the state that even though you didn’t have any money due, you are still in business.

January 23: Tax Season Officially Begins

On your mark, get set, go! The 2017 tax season officially kicks off on January 23, 2017 for filing electronic and paper tax returns for tax year 2016. According to the IRS, more than 153 million individual tax returns are anticipated to be filed in 2017. For small businesses, this means planning ahead and getting all paperwork, statements and important documents ready to go. We recommend filing ahead of schedule instead of waiting until the last minute to ensure you get taxes finished and can return to focusing on your business.

January 31: 1099/W-2 Forms

Small businesses that have employees or independent contractors have a filing deadline for January 31 for Form 1099-MISC and Form W-2. Small businesses are required to provide these forms to their employees by January 31 and must submit copies to the IRS. Previously, employers wouldn’t have to submit these copies in until the end of February or March, but the new requirement has been enacted on behalf of the Protecting Americans Against Tax Hikes Act (PATH) to ensure prevention of refund fraud.

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What happens if I can’t file on time?

Should you need an extension for any of the above, you must request one as soon as possible and be aware that there might be changes in these requests for 2017. For example, if you file for an extension for Form W-2, recent changes enacted state that only one 30-day extension is available for this particular form.

Our advice is to make like an early bird and get the worm. The sooner you file, even if it’s time-consuming, the better you’ll feel knowing you got each deadline out of the way and kept your business in good standing from any potential penalties or audits.

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