Stay Ahead of Deadlines With a 2018 Small Business Tax Checklist

By Cameron McCool on January 3, 2018

An entrepreneur checks off a tax checklist that trails all the way to his feet

Tax season begins as soon as the new year starts. The official deadlines to file your business tax returns are March 15 for S corporations and Partnerships, and April 17 for sole proprietorships and calendar year C corporations.

To help you stay ahead of deadlines this year, we put together a collection of tax checklists that outline the basics you’ll need to address before you file.

Download the checklist that corresponds to your business’s legal structure, and use it to gather and prepare all of the information you’ll need to file your small business tax return.



If you’re behind on your bookkeeping, ask about our catch up bookkeeping service. Our team can get your books up to date, so you can you file your taxes on time.

And if you think you’ll miss the tax filing deadline, you might also like to consider filing for a tax extension. You’ll still have to estimate and pay your taxes owed for the year by the regular deadline, but you’ll get more time to submit your return (the paperwork).

A note for owners of LLCs

If your business is registered as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you may be wondering why we didn’t include a tax checklist specific to LLCs.

Because the IRS considers an LLC a “pass-through entity” (meaning all of the profits and losses of the LLC “pass through” the business to the LLC owners/members, who report this information on their personal tax return), an LLC can elect to be taxed in a few different ways.

Depending on the structure of your business and how you choose to file, your LLC may be able to file taxes as either:

  • A sole proprietorship, if you are the only member
  • A partnership, if there are multiple members
  • An S corporation, if you elect to do so on Form 8832
  • A C corporation, if you elect to do so on Form 8832

In addition, note that certain states impose an annual tax on LLCs.

Download the small business checklist that corresponds to how your LLC will file, and make sure you submit your return before the appropriate deadline.

If you’re unsure which filing option you should choose, work with your CPA to determine the best method for your needs.

A note for current Bench clients

If you’re a current client of Bench, once your books are complete for the 2017 financial year, we will arrange your financials into a Year End Financial Package.

Your Year End Financial Package contains all of the financial statements you and your CPA will need, from a bookkeeping perspective, to file your taxes. These include:

  • Trial Balance
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement (also known as a Profit and Loss Statement)
  • General Ledger
  • All journal entries for the year

We can provide your CPA with a Tax Accountant Login to your Bench account. This allows your CPA to review your financials, and message your Bench bookkeeping team directly to clarify or adjust any information in your books.

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.

Portrait of Cameron McCool
Written By

Cameron McCool

Cameron writes for Bench, the online bookkeeping service for entrepreneurs.