2019 tax deadlines

When Are Taxes Due? 2021 Filing & Extension Deadlines

Tax filing deadlines can creep up on you, and there’s nothing more frustrating than having to pay a fine that could have been avoided.

Take a few minutes to save each relevant filing date to your calendar, and stay ahead of the IRS.

When is “tax day”?

The big “tax day” is usually April 15, 2021, this is when you have to file your taxes! However, for individual tax filers in 2021, this has been changed to May 17, 2021.

The IRS has also announced it is giving victims of the winter storms until June 15th, 2021 to file and pay business returns normally due on March 15th and April 15th. More information can be found on the IRS website. This extension applies to Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

What’s the deadline to pay your taxes?

If you’re sending your return in via snail mail, the IRS considers your return “on time” if it’s addressed correctly, has enough postage, and is in the mail before the end of business on your filing deadline.

Otherwise, you can e-file your return before midnight on your tax filing deadline day.

If you’re self-employed, your business probably pays taxes in four sums throughout the year, rather than on one day. These are called estimated tax payments. The due date for these 2021 payments are April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15 (2022).

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When are 2021 tax extensions due?

You have right up until tax day to file for an extension. For individuals, that means you can still file for a tax extension right on April 15. The same goes for businesses: S corps and partnerships can still get an extension on March 15, and the last day for C corps to file for an extension is April 15.

2021 Tax Deadlines

Here is a detailed list of every tax deadline in 2021.

January 15, 2021

Estimated quarterly payments

Say a final goodbye to 2020. The fourth (and final) estimated quarterly tax payment for the previous tax year is due today.

Note: Individuals, you do not have to file this payment due on January 15, 2021—so long as you file your 2020 tax return by January 31, 2021 and pay the remaining balance owed with your return (see Form 1040-ES for details).


February 1, 2021

Form W-2 filing deadline

If you have employees, you’ll need to fill out two copies of Form W-2 for each one.

One W-2 must be submitted to the IRS. The other must be sent to the employee. The deadline for both is February 1, 2021.


Form 1099-NEC Copy A filing deadline

If you work with independent contractors, the new 1099-NEC form is due February 1, 2021.

Copy A must be filed with the IRS by this date. Copy B must be furnished to the contractor on this date, as well.


March 1, 2021

Form 1099-MISC paper filing deadline

Some 1099s will require a 1099-MISC form.

This due date will only be for paper filing. If you file electronically or miss the paper filing deadline, you can file on March 31, 2021.

You must deliver Copy A to the IRS, and Copy B to your recipient.


March 15, 2021

S corporation and partnership tax returns due

Today is the deadline to file your S corporation tax return (Form 1120-S) or Partnership return (Form 1065).

Note that S corporations and Partnerships do not pay taxes on their income. That tax is paid on the individual incomes of the shareholders or partners, respectively.

March 15 is also the deadline to file for an extension for S corp and partnership tax returns.


March 31, 2021

Form 1099-MISC Copy A filing deadline

Some 1099s will require a 1099-MISC form. This includes payments to an individual or LLC of at least $600 during the year in rent paid, legal settlements, or prize or award winnings.

This due date will only be for electronic filing.

You must deliver Copy A to the IRS, and Copy B to your recipient.


April 15, 2021

Estimated quarterly payments

So it begins. If your business pays taxes on a quarterly basis, the first 2021 estimated quarterly tax payment is due today.


C corporation tax returns due

Today is the deadline to file C corporation tax returns (Form 1120). C corporations in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana have until June 15 to submit their tax returns.

April 15 is also the deadline to file for an extension to file your corporate tax return.


Further reading: What is Form 7004 and How to Fill it Out

State tax returns

Each state determines their own tax deadlines. To find a list of current state tax deadlines, click here.

May 17, 2021

Individual tax returns due

For 2021, the individual tax return date has been moved from April 15 to May 17. This is the deadline to file Individual tax returns (Form 1040). If your income is below $66,000 for the tax year, you can e-file for free using IRS Free File. If your income was above that, you can use the IRS’ free, fillable forms.

If you’re a sole proprietor filing Schedule C on your personal tax returns, the May 17, 2021 deadline applies to you too.

May 17 is also the deadline to file for an extension to file your individual tax return.

June 15, 2021

Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana filings

Due to the winter storms, tax filing has been extended for individuals, sole proprietorships, and C corporations. This only applies to individuals and businesses based in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.


Estimated quarterly payments

The second 2021 estimated quarterly tax payment is due today.


September 15, 2021

Estimated quarterly payments

The third 2021 estimated quarterly tax payment is due today.

If you are an S corporation or partnership that successfully filed for an extension, your tax return is now due.


October 15, 2021

If you are a C corporation that filed for an extension, your income tax return is now due.


November 1, 2021

Extended deadlines for Hurricane Ida victims (Mississippi)

Victims of Hurricane Ida located in Mississippi have various deadlines extended to November 1, 2021.

Sole proprietor, partnership, S corporation, and C corporation tax returns that were successfully extended to October 15, 2021 are now due on the new date.

Quarterly estimated income taxes originally due on September 15, 2021 are now due on the new date as well.

Start making tax moves

End of year tax moves can help grow your business and reduce your taxable income for the calendar year. If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to plan and take action.

December 31, 2021

Tax moves deadline

Today is the final day to make any tax moves for the 2021 tax year.

Set up a solo 401 (k)

If you are self-employed, today is the deadline to set up a solo 401 (k).

January 3, 2022

Extended deadline for Hurricane Ida victims (Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey)

Individuals and businesses in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey affected by Hurricane Ida have been granted an extension to certain filing deadlines.

If you are an individual or business that successfully extended your tax filing to October 15, 2021, you now have until January 3, 2022 to file.

Quarterly estimated income tax payments originally due on September 15, 2021 and excise tax returns due on November 1, 2021 have also been pushed to January 3, 2022.

When can I start filing taxes for 2020?

You can start filing your 2020 tax return after February 12, 2021.

When will I get my tax refund?

In 2018, 9 out of 10 e-filers received their refund less than 21 calendar days after their return was received by the IRS.

That’s not an IRS promise or anything. But in general, you can expect to get your tax refund 3-4 weeks after filing your return. That being said, these are unprecedented times. It’s impossible to say when you’d get your tax refund in 2021.

Paying your taxes late

Past your tax due date, you’ll have to pay a penalty for late payment. This amounts to an additional 0.5% of unpaid taxes every month until you pay your original tax bill (up to a maximum 25% of your total tax bill).

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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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