S Corporation Filing Deadline

The S Corporation filing deadline is important to keep in mind when it comes to filing IRS tax documents come tax season. The S Corp operates as a pass-through tax entity, which means that all profits and losses of the business are passed to the shareholders (owners) who report it on their personal tax returns. However, the S Corp still has a responsibility for filing other applicable tax documents on a yearly basis, perhaps quarterly, depending on whether or not the S Corp has employees.

Income Tax Return Deadlines

There are several deadlines to keep in mind when paying taxes for your S Corp. As previously noted, while the S Corp isn’t required to pay corporate income taxes, your business will still need to file certain documents with the IRS, particularly if you have employees. Some of these deadlines include:

• Form 1120-S, which is an informational tax return

• Form 941, if the S Corp has employees

• Form 940, which are unemployment taxes if you have employees

• Form 730, which are excise taxes

Form 1120-S – Informational Tax Return

All S Corps must file Form 1120-S, regardless of whether or not they have employees. This form has a deadline of the 15th day within the third month after the end of the tax year. Usually, this is March 15, as most companies end their tax year on December 31. This form must include all financial activity, and must also attach Schedule K-1 for each shareholder. Specifically, the Schedule K-1 forms report the shareholder’s share of taxable income, so that they are aware of what they need to report on their personal tax returns. If the S Corp misses the deadline for filing, then it can request a six-month extension by filing IRS Form 7004.

Form 941 – Federal Income Tax Withholding

If your S Corp has employees, then you will need to withhold taxes (Social Security and Medicare) from their paychecks. Thereafter, you will need to file Form 941 every quarter, which reports the total amount that was withheld from your employee’s paychecks. This form must be submitted to the IRS every quarter – on January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31.

Form 940 – Unemployment Tax

If you do have employees, you will also need to file Form 940, which is referred to as the Federal Unemployment Tax Return. If your business pays at least $1,500 or more in any quarter to an employee, then you will need to fill out this form. Further, if you have one or more employees working partial days (i.e. 4 hours) in 20 or more separate work weeks, then you will need to submit this form to the IRS.

Form 730 – Excise Tax

Excise tax is paid for certain items, including gasoline, wagering services (i.e. betting), and services like indoor tanning. Each item must be put onto a different tax form. For wagering services, you will use Form 730. However, for environmental, communication, air or sea transportation and other services, excise taxes will be reported quarterly on Form 720.

Penalties for Late Filing

If you miss any of the aforementioned deadlines, then the IRS will charge you with a penalty, which is why it is very important to file as soon as possible. If you do owe the IRS money, you can either send a check in the mail or pay online through IRS Direct Pay to have the money immediately taken out of your bank account.

You might also want to e-file your tax returns to prevent late filing penalties. Therefore, if you are nearing the deadline, and don’t want to mail in your document to prevent slower processing times, then you can file your documentation online on the IRS website to ensure that you meet the deadline.

If you miss the deadline for Form 1120S, then the IRS will impose a penalty of $195/month per shareholder.

If you miss the deadline for Form 941, the IRS will impose a five-percent penalty each month, up to a maximum of 25%. Similar penalties are imposed for Form 940.

If you need help learning more about an S Corp, or need help filing S Corp tax documents before the deadline, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5-percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.