By their very definition, due dates and deadlines seem to be permanent limits. Yet these constraints are merely tools that can be changed when they fail to achieve their purpose.
In July, Congress did just that by changing the initial and extended due dates for various business returns, as well as the “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.” The dates were changed to coordinate information flow between personal and business returns, potentially reducing the number of extensions and amended returns filed each year. The due date for personal federal income tax returns remains the same, as does the due date for S corporations.
The revised due dates take effect for tax years starting after December 31, 2015. That means you’ll file all of this year’s returns on the usual due dates in 2016. However, you’ll want to keep the new dates in mind as you begin your planning and recordkeeping for next year.
Three notable changes affect the 2016 tax returns of partnerships, C corporations, and the “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (known as FBAR).
- Partnerships will be required to file a return within 2½ months after the end of the fiscal year. For calendar-year partnerships, the due date for 2016 returns is March 15. Partnerships can still request a six-month extension of time to file, and calendar-year extended returns will be due September 15. The change brings the due dates for partnerships into line with other pass-through entities such as S corporations.
- C corporation returns will be due 3½ months after the close of the tax year — on April 15 for calendar-year corporations. C corporation extensions will be for five months, making extended 2016 calendar-year corporate returns due on September 15. There is a special rule for corporations with a June 30 year-end.
- Form 114, the “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,” for 2016 will be due April 15. Beginning in 2016, you’ll be able to request an extension until October 15 to file the FBAR.
The new provisions also change the extended due dates for nonprofit returns (Form 990) and benefit plan returns (Form 5500).