Last minute tax filing tips for small businesses

Are you a small business owner filing your taxes last minute? If so, you are not alone. Many entrepreneurs find themselves delaying their tax filing until just before they are due.

A small business owner holding a help sign while doing a last minute tax filing

But as you rush to collect your small business tax documents and file, there are a couple of tips we want to share about last-minute tax filing…

While there are advantages to filing early in the tax season, you shouldn’t rush through the process just because you are a last-minute tax filer. It is still important to be careful and thorough when you file your small business taxes while making sure you meet the deadline or request an extension to avoid penalties.

Keep the following tips for last-minute tax filing in mind:

1 – Last minute tax filing assistance is at your fingertips

You might think every small business tax advisor is tied up with appointments so late in the tax season, but this might not be the case. At Block Advisors, for example, you can look up the tax office location closest to you and find available appointment times. You may be surprised to find that tax advisors often have a good amount of last-minute availability.

2 – Haste makes waste

If you are determined to hit the April 15 small business tax deadline, remember haste makes waste. If you take the do-it-yourself approach to taxes, carefully ensure there are no data entry errors—details, like your name, Social Security number, and address, matter. Be meticulous in ensuring you’ve claimed all the tax deductions and credits to which you are entitled. Another common error for procrastinators who paper file is forgetting to sign your return. If you file by paper and fail to sign your return, it is not valid.

Make a mistake on your small business tax return? Hope is not lost. Block Advisors can help you file an amended tax return. You and your tax advisor can work to correct mistakes. Together you can remedy incomplete, incorrect, or omitted information on your original tax return – even if you’ve already filed. It is especially important to amend your tax return if you forgot to claim credits, remembered a new deduction, or need to correct other details such as your filing status or income.

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3 – Get prepared before your last minute tax filing

Last-minute tax filing can be stressful for small business owners. This is why it’s important to have the right small business tax documents in place. Once you have set up an appointment, your tax advisor will guide you through the document collection process before your appointment. They want to make sure you’re making the most of your time during the tax appointment. Here is some of the information a Block Advisors tax pro may ask you to gather:

Read more about what to bring to tax appointments.

4 – File An extension if you can’t meet the tax deadline

If you don’t take action on your small business tax return on or before April 15, you may be subject to IRS penalties. If you file your federal tax return late and owe tax with the return, you may face the failure-to-file penalty for paying late, which is typically 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. (It can’t exceed 25% of your unpaid taxes).

If you choose to file an extension, you or your chosen tax preparer should file Form 7004 to give you another six months of breathing room. Remember: if you owe the IRS, you need to make an estimated payment and send it with your extension to avoid the failure-to-pay penalty. Another consideration is that states have different rules for filing a tax extension. Most states require you to file a state extension in addition to a federal extension. It is important to file for an extension, even if you can’t pay your taxes right away.

5 – Think ahead to next year

Even if you fell behind on small business tax planning this year, it’s never too soon to make it a priority going forward. Meticulous record-keeping is important in many aspects of managing a small business, including avoiding last minute tax filing. There are many systems to keep your tax documents organized on your own. You can also get help staying on top of things with Block Advisors’ Year-Round Tax Planning service.

Additionally, we can assist with other parts of your business too such as payroll, bookkeeping, business formation, and beneficial owner reporting. Let our expertise and tools make your small business journey less stressful.

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