Important Tax Dates

a bunch of red thumbtacks pushed into one day on a paper calendar

We all know April 15th is the last day to file your tax returns, but what about other dates?  How does it work if a due date lands on the weekend or a holiday?  When the wrong move could mean a penalty, you want to make sure you understand the tax calendar.

Not sure which due dates apply to you or which forms to use?  Talk with a coach.  Our team of Money Coach Tax Specialists include a Certified Public Accountant, CTEC California Registered Tax Preparer, Enrolled Agent (IRS credential), and more.  They can help you feel more confident about how to make sure you meet the deadlines.

Here are some important dates to watch out for as the year progresses.

January 15th, 2016 – Q4 2015 Estimated Tax Payment Due

If you have required quarterly estimated taxes (e.g. if you’re self-employed), you need to get your payment postmarked by January 15th, 2016 for your 2015 fourth-quarter income.  (Postmarked refers to a marking made by the postal service, indicating the date/time the item was delivered to the postal service.)  To pay quarterly estimated taxes, use Form 1040-ES.

Keep in mind that Form 1040-ES “payments are due on the 15th day of the 4th, 6th, and 9th months of your tax year and on the 15th day of the 1st month after your tax year ends.”1

Important Forms – Form 1040-ES

January 19th, 2016 – IRS Accepts Tax Returns

Want to get your tax return over and done with?  You don’t have to wait until April 15th.  The IRS will begin accepting returns on January 19th, whether paper filed or electronic.

April 15th, 2016 – Individual Tax Returns and Extensions, Q1 2016 Estimated Taxes, IRA Contributions

Actually… this year, the filing due date is April 18th.  Why?  The 15th is an observed holiday, Emancipation Day, in the District of Columbia (DC), so tax objectives due on April 15th are actually due by April 18th, 2016.  We’ll talk a little bit more about holidays and weekends, and how they affect due dates, later.

An Individual Tax Return – or the Individual Tax Return Extension Form, if you need more time – is due by April 18th, 2016, so make sure your Form 1040 is postmarked or e-filed by then.  If you choose to file an extension, your Individual Tax Return will be due on October 15th, 2016.

Required estimated taxes for 2016 first-quarter income is also due on April 18th.  As mentioned earlier, this is if you are self-employed or have other eligible income, and you can use Form 1040-ES.

April 18th is also the last day to make a contribution to your IRS (both Roth and Traditional) for 2015.  Nevertheless, if you get a filing extension, you can still make 2015 contributions to an IRA that’s a SEP or Keogh plan.

Important Forms – Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ, Form 1040-ES

June 15th, 2016 – Q2 2016 Estimated Tax Payment Due

By now, you’ve probably got the idea: complete and postmark Form 1040-ES by this date, if you’re self-employed or have other income that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes.

Important Forms – Form 1040-ES

September 15th, 2016 – Q3 2016 Estimated Tax Payment Due

You know the drill.  (See above for details.)

October 15th, 2016 – Individual Tax Returns Due and IRA Conversions

If you were able to get an extension way back in April (wasn’t that a relief?), your Individual Tax Return is now due.  Make sure you complete the appropriate Form 1040 and get it postmarked by October 15th, 2016.

During 2015, did you have a Traditional IRA that you converted to a Roth, paying taxes on the conversion with your 2015 return?  Good news!  You may be able to recharacterize (a fancy word for “undo” or “reverse”) the conversion and switch back to a Traditional IRA.  For more information, check the IRS webpage, “IRA FAQs – Recharacterization of Roth Rollovers and Conversion.”

Note: Because October 15th lands on a Saturday this year, you can complete and postmark your items by Monday, October 17th.

Important Forms – Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ

Bonus Date: January 15th, 2017 – Q4 2016 Estimated Tax Payment

Don’t forget!  Just like the first date on our list, this is when your estimated tax payment is due for fourth-quarter income – if you are self-employed or have other income with such a requirement.

Important Forms – Form 1040-ES

What about weekends and holidays?

Generally, when a due date lands on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, whatever act that due date requires can be performed “no later than the next day that isn’t a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.”  For example, if the due date for Individual Tax Returns lands on a Saturday, than you can e-file or postmark your return by the following Monday.

There are exceptions to this rule, when it comes to statewide legal holidays and excise tax.  According to the IRS, “a statewide legal holiday delays a due date for filing a return only if the IRS office where you are required to file is located in that state.”  For excise taxes, the two exceptions involve deposits of regular method taxes and the special September deposit rules, which could result in a due date landing on the preceding Friday or following Monday.

For more information about how weekends and holidays work, and for a list of legal holidays, see IRS Publication 509.

CAUTION!

Some taxpayers follow the fiscal year, rather than the calendar year.  If you are a fiscal-year taxpayer, remember that a fiscal year could begin at a different time than the calendar year, possibly causing a change in due dates.

It’s also important to note that intentionally missing due dates can incur penalties.

Help Available

Don’t forget, if you have any questions about how to move forward, talk to a Money Coach Tax Specialist.  Call 888-724-2326 today.