Tax season is about to come pound on your door demanding all your attention. When it does, you don’t want to get overwhelmed and forget an important date. If you need to update your calendar, we’ve listed some of the most important ones to mark down so you don’t end up with an unfortunate tax time penalty.
(These dates assume that you are a sole-proprietor or LLC.)
January 15th – 4th Quarter Estimated Tax
If you’ve been in business a little while you know all about quarterly estimated taxes, or QETs. So don’t forget that the 4th quarter payment is due on January 15th, lest you face increased payments and problems in April.
If you’re new to the small business or freelancing world, QETs are tax payments that replace having taxes taken out of your paycheck every period. They’re calculated by adding up all the money you made during the year, figuring out the tax you would owe (federal, state, etc) and dividing by four. Keep this in mind as this won’t be the last time you hear of QETs.
January 31st – Send out 1099-MISC
Did you hire a contractor or freelancer for temporary work in any capacity? You have to let them know how much they made through your company, if you paid them $600 or more. They use this info to do their own taxes.
The way you do this is through a 1099-MISC tax form. They have to be sent out by January 31st, so don’t dawdle.
Early February – Receive the 1099-K
Have you ever wondered how the IRS tracks sales through sites like Amazon for tax purposes? Well, for a long time, they couldn’t, and it caused big problems. Now online sellers have the 1099-K form to deal with, which reports both to the IRS and to the seller how much they made over the year from various payment processors (Amazon, PayPal, StubHub, etc.). If you made over $20,000 through 200 or more transactions, you’ll get this form in early February. Use it as a tool to help you with your taxes.
January 28th through February 4th – IRS begins accepting returns
While normally you could knock you taxes out as soon as all your necessary forms came in, 2014 might be a little different for you. That’s because the government shutdown in 2013 pushed the IRS’ operations back a little, so you can’t submit until the dates listed above. The exact date isn’t known yet but it shouldn’t be any later than February 4th. Feel free to start compiling your return early, however.
April 15th – Tax Day and QET first quarter due
Today’s the big day. Your taxes are due to the federal, state, and local governments. If you’re not able to finish them in time, your extensions are due on this day instead. This will give you a 6-month extension, although the extension is only to file the necessary forms – you have to pay any estimated taxes you might owe or face penalties.
Speaking of estimated taxes, today is also the day your first quarter QETs are due. Because this is such a huge day for business owners tax wise, it’s a good idea to plan a day earlier in the year to get your paperwork in order. This can prevent you running into trouble as due dates rush up on you.
When do you plan to file taxes in 2014?