Deadlines for filing small business taxes in California

According to the US Small Business Administration, California dominates the top spot for the number of small businesses, with 4.2 million small businesses as of 2022. That’s 99.8% of all California companies! For this state’s burgeoning community of small business owners, tax season is a pivotal period that requires careful navigation through a maze of California tax deadlines. If you are a small business owner wondering, “When are taxes due in California?” look no further. Below, we’ll cover important business tax deadlines to help you stay on top of this crucial activity.

When are taxes due in California answered in a black spiral bound notebook with California Taxes in yellow writing on the cover

Note on the impact of the 2023 California Winter Storm Disaster

In 2023, California state individual income tax returns were originally due April 18. California quarterly estimated tax payments were originally due on April 18 (Q1), June 15 (Q2), September 15 (Q3), and January 16 (Q4). Business returns were generally due either March 15 or April 18.

However, residents and businesses in most counties across the state were given an automatic extension originally until October 16, 2023 — to file both their federal and state returns as part of the winter storm disaster tax relief measures. Subsequently, the IRS announced that they were pushing the date back once more to NOVEMBER 16, 2023.

The California tax deadline change applied to the following qualifying returns and payments (original due dates noted for reference):

  • Quarterly estimated tax payments | April 18, June 15, September 15
  • Calendar-year 2022 partnership and S corporation returns | March 15
  • Calendar-year 2022 corporate and fiduciary income tax returns and payments | April 18
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns | May 1, July 31, and October 31
  • Calendar-year 2022 returns filed by tax-exempt organizations | May 15
  • 2022 individual income tax returns and payments | April 18
  • For eligible taxpayers, 2022 contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts

The State of California announced the initial Emergency Tax Relief extension on March 10, 2023. The November 16, 2023 deadline applied to fifty-five of California’s 58 counties — Lassen, Modoc, and Shasta counties were not included.

You should review the small business tax deadline each year to ensure you’re aware of any changes. For most small businesses located in areas not impacted by the disaster, the business income tax deadline for 2023 in California was April 18. The deadline for small businesses operating as multi-member LLCs, S corporations, and Partnerships, however, was March 15.

When are taxes due in California?

When it comes to tax compliance, small business owners must know when taxes are due in California. In this section, we’ll outline the key deadlines, including the California business tax filing deadline for 2024. Every California entrepreneur should mark their calendar with this date to ensure a seamless tax filing process.

From income tax deadlines to quarterly tax deadlines to employment tax deadlines for small businesses, staying informed about these California tax dates is crucial. Knowing these milestones helps small businesses stay on track and avoid any last-minute rush or penalties. Keep reading to ensure you are aware of federal and California business tax filing deadlines.

Income tax deadlines

Most small businesses need to file federal income taxes annually. These taxes are based on the revenue your company earns each year. The form you need for your income tax return depends on your business structure. You may use one of the following Internal Revenue Services (IRS) forms:

For many small businesses, including Sole Proprietorships, Single-Member LLCs, and C Corporations, the business tax deadline is April 15, 2024. However, keep in mind that some small businesses have an earlier tax deadline. This includes S Corporations, Multi-Member LLCs, and Partnerships. So, if this is how you’re structured, you’ll need to finish filing your return by a different tax deadline – usually March 15, 2024. Generally, the California tax deadline for income tax aligns with the federal deadline.

If you found yourself needing additional time to file your income taxes when the California tax deadline came around, you may have filed a tax extension using IRS Form 7004. If this is the case, you have until October 15, 2023, to file your individual or corporate tax return.

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Quarterly tax deadlines for small businesses

The quarterly estimated taxes you must file also depend on your business structure. Sole proprietors, partners, and S Corporation shareholders who expect to owe more than $1,000 at tax time are generally required to make federal quarterly estimated tax payments. This recurring filing is in addition to their annual income tax filing. C Corporations who expect to owe $500 or more when filing their corporate income tax return also generally are required to make federal quarterly estimated tax payments. Read our article to learn more about federal estimated tax payments.

Some important federal quarterly tax dates for 2024 to keep in mind:

  • April 15, 2024 – 1st quarter (Q1) estimated tax payment due
  • June 17, 2024 –2nd quarter (Q2) estimated tax payment due
  • September 16, 2024 –3rd quarter (Q3) estimated tax payment due
  • January 15, 2025 – 4th quarter (Q4) estimated tax payment due

NOTE: The federal estimated tax due dates are generally April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15. When the date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is moved to the next workday. If you’re wondering about other business tax deadlines, see a more comprehensive list of all federal business tax deadlines.

Though the California tax deadline for estimated tax payments often matches the federal deadline, some years are different. Make sure you are aware of the current year’s California tax deadlines and forms for California quarterly estimated taxes, which are available on the California Franchise Tax Board website.

If you’re feeling unsure, a Block Advisors certified small business tax pro can help you understand which forms and deadlines you need to consider.

Employment tax deadlines

If your business has employees, you’ll need to report their wages, tips, and other compensation. To do this you use IRS Form 941 for federal purposes, filing it with your usual quarterly tax return. This form reports employer payments and FICA taxes withheld from your employees’ paychecks quarterly. In addition to these, you may also need to file state forms by the California tax deadline.

Don’t confuse this with employee and contract worker-centered forms that require annual filings, such as IRS Forms W-3, W-2, and 1099s.

Get more help with California tax deadlines

It’s important to be aware of business tax deadlines. If keeping track of both the federal and California business tax filing deadlines has you feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. Block Advisors certified small business tax pros are available all year long, remotely and in person, to help you nail your tax return.

Find out how to save time and money while keeping your small business taxes on track.

Block Advisors experts are also available to assist you with other parts of your small business to-do list. Our bookkeepingpayrollincorporation, and beneficial owner reporting services are designed with small business owners like you in mind. As always, our services are backed by guarantees to give you peace of mind.

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