When you think of income taxes, does April 15 instantly come to mind?
That’s understandable. April 15 has been the tax filing deadline for individual taxpayers in the US since 1954.
But if you’re a US business owner, you may think first of a different date: March 15. That’s the federal income tax return deadline for corporations with a December 31 year end—and it’s approaching fast.
What if you’re still getting your business information together? Take a breath. You have the same option for your corporation as you do for your personal return—you can request an extension of time to file the forms.
How? Use Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns. You can submit Form 7004 on paper or electronically. Just make sure you send it to the IRS by the original due date of your corporate return (March 15 for calendar year corporations), and that you send a separate form for each business you own.
You don’t have to sign Form 7004, or even provide a reason for needing an extension, and you won’t hear back from the IRS unless your request is rejected.
Form 7004 gives you an extra six months, until September 15, to complete your corporate tax return. Remember, however, you’ll have to pay any tax you expect to owe by March 15 to avoid penalties and interest.
One final reminder: Don’t send a check with Form 7004. Instead, make your payment via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, a Federal Tax Deposit coupon, or electronic fund withdrawal from your corporate bank account.