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Everything You Need to Know About Small Business Tax Deadlines in 2020

4-minute read

Mark down important small business tax deadlines so you don’t forget them, like this business owner did in her calendar.
Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

7 January 2020

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Whether it’s hung on a wall or in a mobile app, pull out your calendar: It’s time to write down 2020’s small business tax deadlines.

I have to admit, my life revolves around my calendar. If something’s not written down, it doesn’t happen. That’s why I researched these important tax deadlines and added them to my work calendar, complete with online notifications. With the additional reminders, I’m less likely to miss a deadline.

Now it’s your turn—these are the tax dates you need to write down.

January 15, 2020

If you pay quarterly estimated taxes, this is the deadline for the fourth quarter of the tax year 2019. Usually, this includes individuals, sole proprietors, partners, or S-corporations.

January 31, 2020

W-2 forms

If you have employees, this is when you need to send out W-2 forms and file them with the IRS. You can either post W-2 forms on a secure company website or mail them directly to employees.

Keep in mind, there’s a difference between employees and independent contractors. And it can be a little fuzzy to understand that difference. If you need help, check out what the IRS has to say.

1099 forms

If you do have independent contractors who were paid in 2019, this is also when you should send them 1099 forms.

Other forms to file

You’ll also need to file form 945 to report income tax withheld for 2019 on all non-payroll items, like pensions, annuities, IRAs, etc.

It’s best to check with an accountant about any other forms that might be due. For example, some small employers and farmers need to file form 943 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2019.

February 19, 2020

Withhold income tax

Have employees? This is when you can start withholding income tax from their paychecks—as long as they claimed exemption from withholding in 2019 and didn’t fill out a W-4 form to keep the exemption this year. Mark it down.

Side-note: If you have employees, don’t forget to get a business insurance plan this year. You’ll want a good workers compensation plan that can help if one of your employees gets sick or injured on the job.

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February 28, 2020

In the midst of the winter, don’t forget to mail forms 1099 and 1096 to the IRS.

March 16, 2020

If your business is a partnership or S-corporation, look out. March 16 is when you need to file your tax documents. Fortunately, you can grab the forms here.

  • Partnerships: Form 1065
  • S-corporations: Form 1120S

Businesses like yours don’t pay income tax. Instead, income and losses get passed on to the partners, owners, and stakeholders. This means that if you file a Form 1065 to the IRS, you also need to send out Schedule K-1s to every partner or shareholder.

If your business did have a loss in 2019, business insurance can help. Depending on your line of work, you may want a general liability or professional liability plan. General liability insurance covers bodily injuries, third-party property damage, and medical expenses, while professional liability insurance covers lawyer fees and the costs of unwanted claims.

Need an extension? With reason, you can push it until September 15, 2020. But no later.

April 15, 2020

If you’re a sole proprietor, it’s time to pay the first quarter of 2020’s estimated taxes. It helps to get on a regular quarterly schedule because this deadline doesn’t change—it’s always the same month and day of the year. You’ll also need to file and pay your 2019 taxes using Form 1040 .

If you own a C-corporation, this is your deadline for filing and paying taxes using Form 1120 .

And if you need an extension, it can be pushed out to October 15, 2020.

June 15, 2020

Half the year has passed! If you’re an individual, sole proprietor, partner or S-corporation, remember to pay the second quarter of 2020 estimated taxes.

September 15, 2020

Heads up. The third quarter of 2020 estimated taxes are due on September 15, 2020. If your business is an S-corporation, and you needed tax deadline extension, you’ll need to file Form 1120S now.

October 15, 2020

Sometimes we need more time. If you own a C-corporation or if you’re an individual or sole proprietor who asked for a tax deadline extension, the new deadline is here. Fill out the forms below and pay what’s due.

  • C-corporation: Form 1120
  • Sole proprietors and individuals: Form 1040

December 15, 2021

If your business is a corporation, remember to pay the fourth quarter estimated taxes by this date.

January 15, 2021

Happy New Year! If you’re a sole proprietor or individual, remember to pay the fourth quarter of 2020 estimated taxes by the 15th.

Need more help keeping track?

You’re not alone. Being a small business owner is a lot of work and can get chaotic. That’s why the IRS does everything possible to help you manage your taxes. They offer:

Above all else, I have a great accountant who emails me her own reminders too. No matter how busy I am, it’s tough to forget to file.

Emily Thompson

Written by

Emily Thompson

I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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