Articles > Bookkeeping

Critical Business Tax Deadlines (2023-2024)

By Jonathan Horton

Table of Contents



Important tax deadlines are coming up! Here’s a quick guideline so that your business can be prepared. The business tax deadline for federal tax returns for sole proprietorships and C corporations is April 15, 2024, but the deadline is March 15, 2024 for partnerships, multi-member LLC and S corporations. A federal tax extension generally provides six more months to file (but not more time to pay).

For state filers in Virginia, returns are due the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of your fiscal year. Virginia also allows an automatic 6-month extension to file your return and no application is required. However, just like federal taxes, you still need to pay any state taxes owed on time to avoid additional penalties and interest.

That’s why knowing what you need to file–and when–will help you avoid costly IRS or state penalties and interest. If you need help, that’s what our bookkeeping and accounting staff does.

Here are some of the major business tax deadlines to circle on the calendar.

(Note: If any of the below dates fall on a weekend or federal holiday, the payment deadline falls on the next business day instead. For example, Q1 will actually be April 18th, rather than April 15th this year).x

Business Tax Deadlines for Federal Tax Returns

  • Sole proprietorships: Schedule C and personal tax return (IRS Form 1040) due April 15, 2024.
  • Partnerships: IRS Form 1065 due March 15, 2024.
  • Multi-member LLCs: IRS Form 1065 due March 15, 2024.
  • S-corporations: IRS Form 1120S due March 15, 2024.
  • C-corporations: IRS Form 1120 due April 15, 2024.

Business Tax Extension Deadlines

If you need more time to file your federal return, you may be able to get a tax extension. (Remember, Virginia automatically grants a 6 month extension if needed). You must request an extension on or before the regular filing deadline. If you get a tax extension, the filing deadline changes to the following:

  • Sole proprietorships: October 16, 2023.
  • Partnerships: September 15, 2023.
  • Multi-member LLCs: September 15, 2023.
  • S-corporations: September 15, 2023.
  • C-corporations: October 16, 2023.

Important notes about business tax extensions:

  • Sole proprietors and owners of certain single-member LLCs use IRS Form 4868 to get an extension. (A good tax software like Quickbooks should be able to handle this.) Corporations, LLCs, and partnerships use IRS Form 7004 to get an extension.
  • An extension gives you more time to file but it does not give you more time to pay. You typically have to pay any taxes you owe by the initial deadline to avoid penalties.
  • If you can’t afford your tax bill, the IRS offers installment plans that may let you pay your bill over time.

Deadlines for Estimated Tax Payments

The IRS follows a pay-as-you-go system for taxes. S-corporations or C-corporations that expect to owe more than $500 in taxes, as well as individuals who expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes should make quarterly estimated tax payments (along with filing a tax return annually).

If you are self-employed or receive any form of income that requires you to pay estimated taxes, here are the estimated tax due dates for 2023:

  • April 15, 2024 – Deadline for 2024 Q1 estimated tax payments
  • June 17, 2024 – Deadline for 2024 Q2 estimated tax payments
  • Sept. 16, 2024 – Deadline for 2024 Q3 estimated tax payments
  • Jan. 15, 2025 – Deadline for 2024 Q4 estimated tax payments

Remember, if any of the above dates fall on a weekend or federal holiday, the payment deadline falls on the next business day instead. For example, Q1 will actually be April 18th.

These dates don’t coincide with regular calendar quarters, so plan ahead. You can also make payments more often if you like.

Employment Tax Deadlines

Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)

  • If your FUTA tax liability is more than $500 for the calendar year: You have to make at least one quarterly payment. The quarterly deadlines are the last day of the month after the end of the quarter.
  • If your total FUTA tax liability for the year is $500 or less: You can either deposit the amount or pay the tax with your Form 940 by January 31.
  • If your FUTA tax liability is $500 or less in a quarter: Carry it forward to the next quarter or until your cumulative FUTA tax liability is more than $500.

Form 941 deadlines

Form 941, “Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return,” is for reporting wages you paid and tips your employees reported to you, as well as employment taxes (federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes you withheld, on top of your share of those Social Security and Medicare taxes).

You file Form 941 quarterly. The deadline is the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.

  • April 30, 2024.
  • July 31, 2024.
  • Oct 31, 2024.
  • January 31, 2025.

(Note: Some employers with small payrolls can file Form 944 once a year instead of Form 941 quarterly if their annual employment tax liability is $1,000 or less. Form 944 generally is due on January 31 of the following year. IRS Topic No. 758 has the details.)

Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)

Small business owners must remit income tax withheld from employees’ paychecks, as well as the employee and employer shares of Medicare and Social Security taxes. For FICA, businesses follow either a monthly or semiweekly deposit schedule.

  • Generally, businesses that paid $50,000 or less in employment taxes must deposit monthly. Each payment is due by the 15th of the following month.
  • Businesses that paid more than $50,000 in employment taxes must deposit semiweekly. Deposit taxes for payments made on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday by the following Wednesday. Deposit taxes for payments made on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday by the following Friday.

Businesses must use electronic funds transfer (EFTPS) to make federal tax deposits.

Deadlines for Employee and Contractor Tax Forms

Deadline to send out W-2s

The annual deadline to file W-2s is January 31.

  • You can send W-2 forms by regular email or make them available digitally, though employees can request a paper copy.
  • Provide these forms late, and the IRS can hit you with penalties anywhere from $50 to $580 per employee, depending on how late you were.

Deadline to send out 1099s

If you worked with independent contractors during the tax year, you may need to send them a Form 1099-NEC by January 31. The same penalties and deadlines that apply for W-2 forms apply for 1099s.

Stay on Top of Business Tax Deadlines

When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, Ingenium is ready to help. If you’d like deadline reminders, sign up for our newsletter. And if you’re interested, our bookkeeping and QuickBooks services are combined with detailed reporting and consultation, so you can focus on growth and feel confident that every dollar is managed well, and every deadline met.