Tax Forms: Deadlines and Due Dates

Elizabeth Rosen
by Elizabeth Rosen, Contributor


Personal Income Tax Due Date

In general, personal income tax returns (i.e., IRS Tax Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ) are due by April 15th, following the end of that tax year. This means that your 2009 income tax return, for example, was due by April 15th 2010. In the case that a holiday falls on April 15th (as it did in 2011), the filing deadline is moved to the next business day.

State Tax Returns -- It's important to note that your State income tax return may or may not be due on the same date as your Federal (IRS) income tax return. Make sure to check with your state’s tax commissioner or department of revenue to confirm the filing deadline.

Estimated Tax Due Dates

If you owe estimated income tax during the year, you are required to make 4 payments in equal installments. Typically, these payments must be submitted every 4 months throughout the year. For 2011, these dates are April 18, June 15, September 15, and January 17, 2012. Estimated tax payments can be made using IRS Tax Form 1040-ES.

Business Income Tax Due Date

Most businesses must file and pay their Federal income taxes by the 15th day of the 3rd month following the close of their taxable year. This generally falls on March 15th, though it depends on each company’s particular schedule. Note that your business is most likely subject to Federal and State income taxes, and certain business-owners may need to include their business income on their personal tax return.

Extended Tax Deadlines

If you cannot file your tax return by the deadline, you may request an extension of time to file from the IRS (Tax Form 4868 for individuals or Tax Form 7004 for businesses). This will give you an additional 6 months to file your return, although it will not extend the deadline for any taxes that you owe. Applying for a tax extension is easy and fast, and the IRS does not even require you to provide a reason. While it’s not recommended that you get in the habit of filing late, it is an option that many taxpayers take advantage of each year.

Also note that in many states, you can be granted an automatic State tax extension if your Federal extension is approved. Be sure to check with your state’s tax commissioner or department of revenue for details regarding tax extensions.