Because of this flexibility, LLCs don’t have a set tax deadline. Instead, when they file taxes varies based on a couple of factors. Read on to find your LLC tax deadline in 2022.
What does an LLC file its taxes as?
LLCs are unique because they’re created at the state level. When you opt to become an LLC, your state sees your business as a corporation. But to the IRS, you’re still a sole proprietorship if the business is owned by one individual or partnership if the business has multiple owners.
Both sole proprietorships and partnerships are considered disregarded or pass-through entities because the profits “pass through” to the owners to report on their personal tax returns. Simply put, these business entities don’t pay corporate income tax. By filing as one of these entities, LLCs benefit from the liability protection of corporations while avoiding double taxation.
Which choice is right for you depends on multiple factors. Choosing to file as a corporation, for example, can save you money on self-employment taxes but requires stricter reporting.
When determining what your LLC should file as, discussing your options with a CPA or tax professional ensures you’re making the best choice. With a premium Bench subscription, you get access to unlimited, on-demand consultations with a tax professional to talk through every detail.
Further reading: The Complete Guide to LLC Taxes
Main filing deadlines
The filing date for most tax forms is the 15th day of a given month. In the case that this falls on a weekend or holiday, it moves to the next business day. Don’t worry—the IRS isn’t going to give you less time to file your taxes.
Your filing date also depends on if you opt for a different fiscal year. By default, businesses use the calendar year as their fiscal year, meaning you close the books on December 31. Using the calendar year can be helpful since your business taxes would align with your personal taxes. However, opting for a different fiscal year can benefit seasonal businesses like farms or schools by having their tax season after their peak period of business.
If you don’t use a different fiscal year, the month you file in depends on how the IRS views your business. There are four different filing types your LLC could potentially be, each with its own due date.
If your LLC has a single owner, the IRS treats you as a sole proprietorship. You report your business income on Schedule C as part of IRS Form 1040, your personal income tax return. This means you file your business taxes at the same time you file your personal income taxes.
For 2022, LLCs filing as sole proprietors must submit Form 1040 by April 18 without an extension. With an extension, the deadline for filing is October 17.
Further reading: Sole Proprietorship Taxes: A Simple Guide
If your LLC has multiple owners, the IRS treats you as a partnership. In this case, you must complete the partnership return IRS Form 1065. Form 1065 is where you report the business’s income and expenses for the year. The business doesn’t pay taxes, though: the business owners do.
A Schedule K-1 is provided by the LLC (or whoever files Form 1065 on their behalf) to each of its shareholders as part of Form 1065. All the information needed to fill out Schedule K-1s is found in the Income and Expenses section of Form 1065. The shareholders then file Schedule K-1 and pay the partnership taxes as part of their personal income tax return.
For 2022, LLCs filing as a partnership must file Form 1065 by March 15 without an extension. With an extension, the deadline for filing is September 15. Shareholders must submit their Schedule K-1 as part of their personal income tax return by April 18.
Further reading: How To Fill Out Form 1065: Overview and Instructions
If your LLC submitted Form 2553 in time for the fiscal year you’re filing, the IRS treats you as an S corporation. S corporations are pass-through entities, meaning the business’s profit or loss gets reported by shareholders on their personal income tax return. You must complete IRS Form 1120S to report your business’s income and expenses. Similar to partnerships, Schedule K-1 must be completed as part of Form 1120S to report each shareholder’s share of income.
For 2022, LLCs filing as an S corporation must file Form 1120S by March 15 without an extension. With an extension, the deadline for filing is September 15. Shareholders must submit their Schedule K-1 as part of their personal income tax return by April 18.
Further reading: The Complete Guide to S Corporation Taxes
If your LLC opted to be treated as a corporation when it filed Form 8832 (more on that later), the IRS treats you as a C corporation. C corporations are subject to what’s called double taxation. The business pays a flat corporate federal income tax, and then the shareholders are also taxed on their earnings when they file their personal income taxes. Double the tax payments, thus double taxation.
IRS Form 1120 is used for C corporation income tax returns. Their taxable income is then subject to a 21% flat federal corporate income tax rate. In addition, state corporate income taxes range from 1% to 12% (although some states impose no income tax) and are deductible expenses for federal income tax purposes.
For 2022, LLCs filing as a C corporation must file Form 1120 by April 18 without an extension. With an extension, the deadline for filing is October 17.
Further reading: Tax Form 1120—What It Is, How to File It
How Bench can help
Staying on top of tax due dates is the first step towards mastering your tax filing—and while it may take 10,000 hours to master a new skill, you probably don’t have those hours to spare.
With Bench’s monthly bookkeeping services, you’re tax-ready from day one all the way through to year end. When we close your books, we provide you with a year end financial package containing all the info a tax professional needs to file your taxes. Upgrade your subscription and we’ll also file your taxes for you. Get access to unlimited, on-demand consultations with a tax professional and make tax decisions for your business with confidence.
Quarterly estimated taxes
Self-employed tax filers and corporations don’t necessarily pay taxes all in one go. Owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations are responsible for making quarterly estimated income tax payments if they will owe over $1,000 in taxes in the year. For C corporations, this is lowered to over $500 in taxes in the year. Even first-year businesses will have to file quarterly taxes if they expect to exceed these thresholds.
These tax payments are “estimated” because they’re based on a projection of how much you will earn in the tax year. If you overpay over the course of the year, you get either a refund or credit towards your next tax payment. If you underpay, you pay the difference after filing your return.
There are four quarterly estimated tax payments that must be made in a fiscal year. For 2022, payment for the first quarter is due April 18, the second quarter on June 15, and the third quarter on September 15. The fourth quarterly payment is due the year following, January 16, 2023.
If you don’t feel like doing paperwork or digging for past returns, there are helpful resources online, like Bench’s estimated quarterly taxes calculator. Answer a few quick questions and gain valuable insight on your quarterly tax bill.
Further reading: How to Calculate & Pay Estimated Taxes (Free Calculator)
How to elect the various tax designations
There are two different forms you may need to fill out to change your LLC’s tax filing type. The form you use depends on how you want your LLC to file.
IRS Form 8832, the Entity Classification Election form, is what LLC owners use to elect to be taxed as a corporation or disregarded entity (or pass-through entity). “Disregarded entity” is a fancy way to refer to sole proprietorships and partnerships because they report their income on the business owners’ personal income tax return. Since they aren’t taxed as a separate entity, these businesses are considered “disregarded” entities.
Form 8832 must be submitted within 75 days of the formation of your business or the start of your fiscal year. So if you use the calendar year as your fiscal year, the last day you can file Form 8832 is March 15. However, if you need to file late, Part II of the form can be filled out to apply for a late election.
The other filing type your business can opt for is the S corporation. Before opting to file as one, get familiar with the differences between LLCs and S corporations. While S corps may look good on paper, stricter requirements (like treating owners as employees and paying them a reasonable salary) can add unnecessary complexity to your business.
If you want to file as an S corporation, you must file Form 2553. You can technically file Form 2553 at any time, but when you file it will determine when it takes effect. If you want to convert to an S corporation in 2022, the last day you can file Form 2553 is March 15, 2022. If you file on March 16, the change won’t take effect until 2023 (or the following fiscal year).
How to apply for a tax extension
Not going to make the filing deadline? You can apply for an extension completely online. Just remember that you’re only getting an extension on your tax filing. The payment due date won’t change, and late payments can result in fines and penalties.
Sole proprietors follow the same steps all individual taxpayers do. You’ll be granted an automatic six month extension if:
- You’re an individual working in a combat zone in support of the U.S. Armed Forces (spouse included)
- You’re a member of the military serving outside of the U.S.
- You’re a U.S. citizen living and working abroad
- You’re a U.S. citizen living in parts of the country that have been hit by severe natural disasters
If none of the above apply to you, you can apply for an extension using IRS Form 4868. This form only applies to sole proprietors or your individual income tax return. If you plan on paying electronically, you may be able to apply for an extension directly through the IRS payment portal.
The deadline to apply for an extension is the same as the filing deadline. Partnerships and S corporations must apply for an extension by March 15, 2022. Sole proprietors and C corporations must apply for an extension by April 18, 2022.
Further reading: How to File for a Business Tax Extension (Federal)
Other important tax deadlines
While the yearly federal tax return is definitely the big kahuna of tax season, it’s important to stay on top of the due date of all other tax forms businesses are responsible for.
Below are some other important taxes and forms with their due dates:
- 1099 Forms: Businesses are commonly responsible for supplying 1099-NEC (for independent contractors) and 1099-MISC forms based on their activity throughout the year. Two copies must be filled out, with one sent to the IRS and one to the recipient of the payments. Both copies must be provided by January 31, 2022.
- Sales taxes: Sales taxes aren’t a federal tax; they’re a state tax. Because of this, the filing date will vary based on your location. Be mindful of where you have sales tax nexus if you sell online. You may be responsible for filing sales taxes in multiple states.
- Excise taxes: A business is responsible for paying federal excise taxes on certain products like gasoline, alcohol, and tobacco. You report and pay excise taxes quarterly using IRS Form 720. These forms are due on May 2, August 1, and October 31, 2022, with the final quarter being submitted January 31, 2023.
- Payroll taxes: If you run payroll, there are multiple forms that must be submitted covering Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment taxes. The IRS provides a rundown of when payroll tax returns are due on the IRS.gov website.