IRS Filing and Tax Extension Deadlines for 2017

By Cameron McCool on December 29, 2017

Wondering when you need to file your 2017 tax return? You’re in the right place.

If you’re a small business owner, we suspect tax season plus running your business equals mayhem—so we put together a list of IRS filing and extension deadlines for 2017 small business tax returns to take one thing off your plate. Below you’ll find key submission deadlines and details on how to extend your deadline for each small business type. As a reminder, you can file as a small business if you have less than 10 employees.

And if you need help with your 2017 bookkeeping before you submit your tax return, we can do that for you. Our team will get your financials tax-ready before you can say “standard and itemized deductions” ten times fast.

IRS filing and tax extension deadlines

These deadlines are relevant to your 2017 small business tax return.

March 15, 2018


March 15, 2018 is the deadline to file your partnership (including multi-member LLCs filing as a partnership) tax return (Form 1065) and pay any taxes owed. Why the earlier due date you ask? The earlier deadline gives partners a chance to receive Schedule K-1s before the personal tax return due date.

For an automatic six-month extension, file Form 7004 and deposit your estimated taxes owed.

S corporation

March 15th, 2018 is the deadline to file S corporation (including multi-member LLCs filing as an S corporation) tax returns (Form 1120S) and pay any taxes owed.

For an automatic six-month extension, file Form 7004 and deposit your estimated taxes owed.

April 17, 2018

Individual and sole proprietorship

April 17, 2018 is the deadline to file individual (Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) and sole proprietorship (including single-member LLCs filing as a sole proprietorship) (Schedule C 1040) tax returns.

For an automatic six-month extension, file Form 4868 and deposit your estimated taxes owed by today.

C corporation

April 17, 2018, is the deadline to file C corporation tax returns (Form 1120).

For an automatic six-month extension, file Form 7004 and deposit your estimated taxes owed by today.

What happens if you miss the filing deadline?

All 2017 tax returns that are due a refund have until April 17, 2021, (October 18, 2021, with an extension) to be filed with the IRS before the statute of limitations on the refund runs out. If you don't file your return by then, the US Treasury simply keeps your "donation."

The penalty for late filing can be much higher than the penalty for late payment. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the worse it gets.

If you owe additional tax, file your return as soon as you can—even if you can't pay your tax bill right away.

When should you consider a federal tax extension?

If you need extra time to get your books organized, or if your business or industry is just too busy in the beginning of the year, then an extension could be the right option to ensure that when you do file your 2017 tax return, you do it right. Once your extension application is approved, mark a two-month, one-month and one-week reminder in your calendar up to the new deadline. You’ll need to ensure it doesn’t slip your mind, since your new deadline will fall out of the regular cadence and reminders of the standard tax season.

Important to note: an extension won’t get you out of paying your taxes owed for the year by the regular tax deadline.

How to file for a federal tax extension

If you’re going to apply for an extension, work with your CPA to estimate your taxes owed for the year and file for the extension sooner rather than later. Make sure you submit your application to the IRS on or before the corresponding tax extension filing deadline (outlined above).

How to file for a state and local tax extension

If your business needs to file a tax return with one or multiple states, it’s likely that you can also apply for an extension of time to file your state and local taxes. You’ll need to apply for the extension with each state where your business is required to file a state tax return, and tax extension deadlines and filing requirements vary by state—so be sure to double check with yours.

Estimated payments: If you don’t know what this means, keep reading

If you’re a business owner filing as a sole proprietor, partner or S-corporation shareholder, and you anticipate owing $1,000 or more for the tax year, then you need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year.

Filing estimated tax payments for the first time? To calculate your tax burden, reference last year’s income, tax credits and deductions, and create a plan with your bookkeeper. Business owners who don’t submit at least 90% of the taxes they owe may be subject to penalties.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need to meet other filing deadlines and requirements not listed in this post. Do your research and work with your accountant early on to ensure you’re meeting your filing obligations during tax season and throughout the year.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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