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Financial Planning > Tax Planning > Tax Reform

Mark Your Calendars: Key Tax Planning, Filing Dates in 2016

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In March, advisors may be helping their clients gather information like 1099 forms for their tax returns or, in some cases, completing and filing those returns for clients. But throughout the month and the year, there are other important dates for some clients and advisors — especially if they (or you) happen to live in Maine or Massachusetts. Below, we provide the 2016 dates that are important for helping your clients deal with tax year 2015 and 2016.

Tuesday, March 15: This is the deadline for calendar-year corporations and S corps to file their 2015 income tax returns, and is also the day when S corps and electing large partnerships must provide each shareholder or partner, respectively, with their K-1s.

Thursday, March 31: This is the deadline for electronically filing various forms with the IRS, including 1099s. February 29 was the deadline for paper filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922 and W-2G. The deadline for firms to deliver these forms to the appropriate recipients “generally remains Feb. 1,” according to the IRS.

Friday, April 1:  While RMDs are usually due by Dec. 31 of the tax year, for clients who turned 70 ½ last year, April 1 is the deadline to take their first required minimum distribution, though doing so will also require a second RMD by year-end which, as Schwab’s Rande Spigelman points out, could put your client into a higher tax bracket. However, Spigelman also says that the omnibus budget bill passed by Congress last year permanently extended the tax provision that allows distributions “made directly from an IRA to a charitable organization to be excluded from income and count towards your RMD.”

(See Tax Law Changes Affecting Your Clients.)

Friday, April 15: Surprise! This is not the deadline for filing your federal tax return. Washington, D.C.’s Emancipation Day holiday will be observed on April 15 since it falls on a Saturday this year. The actual tax return filing deadline is three days later, April 18.

Monday, April 18: This is the deadline for individuals to file their 1040 federal tax returns this year — the IRS helpfully adds “and pay any tax due” — because of the DC holiday, unless you happen to live in two New England states.

It’s also the day for ‘household employers,’ taxpayers who paid cash wages of $1,900 or more to a household employee in 2015, to file Schedule H (Household Employment Taxes) of Form 1040, along with reporting any Federal Unemployment (FUTA) tax and any income tax withheld for household employees (see IRS Publication 926).

Monday, April 18: This is the deadline for residents of all states to file their first installment of their 2016 estimated taxes, if applicable.

Monday, April 18: This is also the deadline for filing returns for the 2012 tax year should you have forgotten to do so, or were not required to do so because it was a low-income year. Filing those missed returns for 2012 could benefit many taxpayers, the IRS says, since the agency estimates the median refund for those missed returns would be $718.

Monday, April 18: Schwab’s Spigelman points out that the deadline to make a contribution to a traditional or Roth IRA has been extended from April 15 to April 18 this year, though he also passes along the standard recommendation that such contributions are better made earlier rather than later to take advantage of the market returns in your IRA for a longer period of time.

Tuesday, April 19: This is the federal tax filing deadline for residents of Maine and Massachusetts. That’s because those two states celebrate Patriots’ Day on the third Monday of each April, recalling the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775. Sports fans know Patriots’ Day for the annual Boston Marathon, which marks its 120th running in 2016. It also traditionally is the home opener for the Boston Red Sox, though this year that happens on Monday, April 11 (against the Baltimore Orioles). But remember, those quarterly estimated tax payments are still due on April 18 if you’re a resident of Maine or Massachusetts. Wednesday, June 15: Deadline for filing 2015 individual income tax returns for U.S. citizens or resident aliens living and working (or on military duty) outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, June 15: Deadline for paying the second installment of 2016 estimated taxes, if applicable.

July: During the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18 to 21, the GOP will pick its nominee for president, while the Democratic Party will choose its nominee in Philadelphia a week later. Taxes and tax reform are always an issue in presidential races, so expect many promises and perhaps some changes after the election.

(See From Clinton to Trump: Tax Plans of 6 Presidential Candidates.)

Thursday, Sept. 15: Deadline for paying the third installment of 2016 estimated taxes.

Monday, Oct. 17: This is the deadline to file your 2015 individual tax return if you received a six-month extension from the IRS (though of course your deadline to pay your taxes due remains April 18 this year). 

Tuesday, Nov. 8: Election day nationwide. In addition to picking a president, voters will elect 34 of the 100 senators and all 435 members of the House of Representatives. Most prognosticators predict the House — where by the Constitution all bills for raising revenues (including tax bills) must originate — will remain controlled by the Republican Party, while the Democrats may be able to wrest control of the Senate.

Thursday, Dec. 15: Deadline for paying the fourth and final installment of 2016 estimated taxes.

See ThinkAdvisor’s complete tax planning lineup on our 23 Days of Tax Planning Advice: 2016 home page.


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