It’s easy to miss the corporation filing deadlines for your C Corporations. That’s because they are due at odd times from your other returns. Let’s go through the details.
Form 1120 What & When
The federal form for your C Corporation tax return is Form 1120. Your state’s home state will also have a state form if you are required to pay tax in your home state. Additionally, you will need to file a state return, and apportion income, in states in which nexus is attaching for income tax purposes.
The C Corporation return is due 3 ½ months after your fiscal year end. So, if your year-end is December 31st, you need to file as of March 15th, or file for an extension using Form 7004.
The C Corporation likely doesn’t have a calendar year-end, though. That’s one of the big benefits of the C Corporation. You can elect when your year-end is and selecting a date different than your personal year-end can give you tax planning opportunities and the time you need to plan for sudden windfalls.
What is the Tax Year?
If you’ve always filed calendar year returns, it might seem like a silly question to ask what is the tax year for the return, but this is a real issue for C Corporation. For example, a year end of 12/31/10 would mean you use a 2010 Form 1120. But a tax year end of 11/30/10 would mean you use a 2009 Form 1120. A year end of 1/31/11 would mean a 2010 Form 1120.
The tax year will determine what laws you use. This is an important point. If you hear about some new tax changes coming about in 2010, for example, it may or may not be applicable to your C Corporation that year. It depends on what tax year you have.
Make sure your CPA is up to date on the Tricks and Traps of C Corporations and is on top of the filing dates for your corporation.