Changes to Tax Return Due Dates
Feb. 16, 2017
The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 modified tax return due dates for many businesses, trusts, and tax-exempt entities’ tax returns effective for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016. Following is a reminder of how the due dates have changed and a summary of updates made since the law passed.
U.S. Corporate Income Tax Returns – Form 1120
The original due date for C corporations moved to the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of the tax year – an extra 30 days. This change generally starts with calendar year 2016 tax returns, which are due April 18, 2017 (because April 15 falls on a Saturday and the Emancipation Day holiday is celebrated on Monday, April 17, 2017). However, C corporations with a June 30 year-end will continue to have a due date of the 15th day of the third month (Sept. 15, 2017, for tax years ending June 30, 2017).
As written, the law calls for calendar year 2016 returns to have a five-month extension, fiscal year tax returns (other than those ending on June 30) to have a six-month extension, and June 30 fiscal years to have a seven-month extension. The IRS recently released guidance that calendar year taxpayers will be granted a six-month extension. Calendar year 2016 tax returns therefore will receive an extension to Oct. 16, 2017 (because Oct. 15 falls on a weekend). As a result of this extension, all extended corporate returns are due on the 15th day of the 10th month.
The due dates for S corporations are unchanged.
U.S. Return of Partnership Income – Form 1065
The original due date for partnership returns is moved to the 15th day of the third month after the close of the tax year (March 15, 2017, for calendar year 2016 partnerships) with a six-month extension (Sept. 15, 2017, for calendar year 2016 partnerships). Because the penalty for filing late is $195 per partner per month even though no tax is due with the return, it is important that the earlier due date is not overlooked.
Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FBAR), is due April 18, 2017, but taxpayers can get an automatic six-month extension through Oct. 16, 2017. A recent news release from FinCEN provided additional information regarding the new due date and extension:
- FinCEN will honor adjustments to federal income tax due dates for holidays and weekends to keep filing dates consistent.
- An extension automatically will be granted for filers failing to meet the annual April 15 due date. Specific requests for this extension are not required.
Other Tax Returns
- Trusts are eligible for a 5 1/2-month extension (Oct. 2, 2017, for calendar year 2016 trusts).
- Organizations filing Form 990, “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,” are eligible for a six-month extension (Nov. 15, 2017, for calendar year 2016 returns).
- Taxpayers filing Form 4720, “Return of Certain Excise Taxes,” receive a six-month automatic extension.
- Taxpayers filing Form 5227, “Split-Interest Trust Information Return,” receive a six-month automatic extension.
- Taxpayers filing Form 6069, “Return of Excise Tax,” receive a six-month automatic extension.
- Taxpayers filing Form 8870, “Information Return for Transfers Associated With Certain Personal Benefit Contracts,” receive a six-month automatic extension.
Short-Year Tax Returns
The new due dates apply to tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016, meaning they also apply to short tax years that began during 2016. A fiscal year, or short year, that began in 2015 and ended in 2016 will continue to use the old tax return due dates.
State Tax Returns
Many states have modified their due dates to reflect the new federal income tax return due dates. Consult state-specific instructions to identify any states that do not conform to the revised federal due dates.