Tax Timeline: Filing 2015 Taxes for Individuals & Businesses
Just the thought of having to learn a new way of filing your taxes can be stressful enough to keep you from kicking off your freelancing career. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy timeline and infographic to guide you through the process both as an individual and as a business. Print it out and hang it in your home office to quell any tax-time panic. You’ve got this!
I. Filing as an individual
Paying estimated taxes is one way to postpone payments to the government (hey, that sounds neat)! But make sure your income is one that qualifies for withholding…this includes business, rental, investment, and capital gains.
“There is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting to e-file to begin,” says your friendly neighborhood rep at the IRS. They won’t accept tax returns till the 19th, so guess this is a rare case of the early bird really not getting the worm!
Remember when you first got your job and diligently poured over every word of the W-4 form you were asked to fill out? Yeah, me neither. But breathe easy - you have until this date to submit a new one should you wish to adjust the amount of withholding allowances you claim on your paycheck. (We’re talkin' bout those pesky reductions in your net income thanks to employers taking out federally and state mandated taxes). This allows you a degree of control over that, as adjusting the amount of withholding allowances changes the amount of income subject to tax! Download your W-4 form here and adjust away!
Filing for an extension seems like the easy way out, but make sure you understand what it does and doesn’t do: An extension is merely a way to ask the IRS for more time to file a tax return (specifically 6 months). An extension is not a get out of jail free card, since it doesn’t give you any additional time to pay, the IRS charges interest, and sometimes they even charge penalties on tax payments made after April 18th. Download your application for extension here at your own risk! ;)
Decide you’d had enough of bald eagles and baseball and made the move to live abroad?! If you’re legally a US citizen this is still your deadline to pay any taxes due. Too up to your elbows in baguettes? Well c'est la vie my friend - apply for an additional 4-month extension with the following form.
For all you dilly-dalliers (ok fine I add myself to this bracket), the honeymoon’s over and this is the LAST day the IRS will accept our 2015 tax returns!
II. Filing as a business
Time to get your employees that paper…W-2s are due! Businesses, send out your 1099s and make sure they report non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends, and distributions from a retirement plan.
Happy New Year, your business license expires on December 31st. Make sure you file your renewal by February 29th, especially if you’re going to be applying for a building permit since they won’t be issued to contractors without one! For those from LA download your renewal form here and keep December for celebrating!
Corporation lagging? Go ahead and file for that 6-month extension (phew)! Also due on this date, corporate tax returns for 2015 (hey ya win some, ya lose some).
If you are in a partnership (and no we don’t mean romantically), this is the due date for you to file, as well as the last day to provide each partner with their Schedule K-1 (fancy name for a doc displaying everyone’s share of income and losses for the year). Don’t forget, ANY multiple-member LLC is taxed as a partnership! Download your Schedule K-1 form here!
If you requested an extension, this is the final deadline to file corporate and partnership tax returns for 2015!