Revised Tax Return Due Dates

By:
Stewart Berger, CPA
Published Date:
Oct 1, 2015

The Highway Trust Fund Extension Act of 2015, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on July 31, 2015, revised the filing of tax returns for calendar and fiscal year taxpayers for years beginning after December 31, 2015, resulting in a major restructuring of entity return due dates.

Domestic C Corporation and S Corporations

Under the old law, domestic C and S Corporations with a fiscal year end had to file their tax returns by the 15th day of the third month after the end of the year.  C and S Corporations with a calendar year end had to file their tax returns by March 15th of the following year.

Under the current law, C Corporations will have to file their tax returns by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the year.  C Corporations with a calendar year end will have to file by April 15th of the following year.

Under a special rule, C Corporations with fiscal years ending on June 30 must file by September 15th, with a five-month extension to February 15th, through the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2026.  Beginning in 2027, C corporations must file by October 15th, with a five-month extension to March 15th.

S Corporations with a calendar year end will have to file by March 15th of the following year.

S Corporations with a year end other than a calendar year end will have to file by the 15th day of the third month after the end of the year.

Partnerships

Under the old law, partnerships had to file their tax returns and issue their K-1s to partners by April 15th following the end of the calendar year.

Under the current law, partnerships must file their tax returns by March 15th following the end of the calendar year.

Partnerships that have a fiscal year end will have to file their tax returns by the 15th day of the third month following the year end.

The new law mandates the IRS to modify its regulations to provide that the maximum extension for returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015 is as follows:

- Trusts filing Form 1041 will have an extended due date of September 30th as opposed to the current September 15th.

- Employee Benefit Plans filing Form 5500 will have an automatic extension of a 3 1/2 month period ending on November 15th for calendar year plans, as opposed to the automatic 2 1/2 month period.

- Organizations exempt from income tax filing Form 990 series will have an automatic six-month extension ending on November 15th for calendar year filers.

- Organizations exempt from income tax that are filing Form 4720, Returns of Excise Taxes, will have an automatic six-month extension beginning on the due date for filing the return without regard to any extension.

- Split interest trusts required to file Form 5227 will have an automatic six-month extension beginning on the due date of the filing of the return.

FinCEN Report Due Date

Under the old law, those having a foreign bank account and financial interest in accounts or having signatory or signature authority over foreign financial accounts must file Form 114 (a FinCEN Report), which had to be received by the Department of the Treasury on or before June 30th of the year immediately following the calendar year being reported, with no extension available.

Under the new law, the Treasury Department has been directed to modify its regulations to provide that, for tax returns beginning after December 31, 2015, the due date of Form 114 will be April 15th with a six-month extension ending October 15th.  The new law provides that for any taxpayer required to file Form 114 for the first time, any penalty for a failure to either timely file or to request an extension may be waived by the Treasury Secretary.

The due date for filing Form 3520, Annual Report to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, will be April 15th for calendar year filers, with a maximum six-month extension.

In the author’s opinion, the new law has the following effects:

- It increases the workload of tax preparers who must file calendar year partnership extensions by March 15th instead of April 15th .

- It lessens the workload directly before April 15th because partnerships have already filed their taxes on March 15th .

- Tax preparers will have to be more cognizant of the due dates of their clients because of changes in due dates and filing extensions, thus causing them to review their tax due date lists more frequently, as well as to change their tracking software.

- It eases the burden of filing trust tax returns by extending the due date from September 15th to September 30th.

- The allowance of a six-month extension for FinCEN Reports will give taxpayers relief in having time to obtain the necessary information.

- States that usually mirror the federal government in terms of tax filing due dates and extensions will follow suit and revise their relevant due dates and extensions.


berger1Stewart Berger, CPA, has over 30 years of experience providing tax and estate consulting services to closely held companies and high net worth individuals. He is a member of the fiduciary service group of RSSM CPA LLP. Mr. Berger is a member of the NYSSCPA and the AICPA. He has written several articles for professional publications, is a published author, and has been quoted in various industry trades and regional newspapers. He can be reached at 212-303-1800 or sberger@rssmcpa.com. 

 
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