Prepare for Year-end: Know Your Deadlines

Updated April 27, 2020

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”  – Douglas Adams

I have to agree with my good pal Doug here – keeping track of deadlines is hard! For some business owners, it’s a full-time job. You have project deadlines for customers, payroll deadlines for staff and deadlines to pay vendor bills. Year-end is often the period where business owners struggle with several deadlines. How can you best prepare to meet the challenge?

Know Your Fiscal Year

For businesses, a fiscal year is the 12 month period they use for taxes, financial reporting, and budgeting. For many small businesses, their fiscal year begins January 1st and ends December 31st of that same year. There are some exceptions. 

If you are one of the many businesses with a fiscal year-end of December 31st, how can you prepare for this deadline? Take the time to review your numbers. Identify any possible purchases that should be made before the year-end. Meet with your CPA or tax professional. If you want some additional suggestions, you can check out our blog on preparing for your year-end here

Know Your Entity Type

Depending on what type of entity your business is, the deadlines for your business tax returns may change. 

Here is a sample of deadline dates for federal tax returns based on entity type:

Entity Type

Standard Filing Date

 IRS 2019 Deadlines *


March 15

July 15, 2020


March 15

July 15, 2020

Sole-Props (Schedule C)

April 15

July 15, 2020


*Updated 4/27/2020 – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many deadlines have been extended for the filing of 2019 federal income taxes. Many deadlines which would normally fall on from April 1, 2020 through July 14, 2020 have been extended to July 15, 2020. See the IRS press release for more details.

If you need additional time to file beyond the filing dates above, you can also file Form 7004 to request an extension. You can follow up with your CPA or tax professional to learn more. 

Depending on which state you reside in, there may be different deadlines for filing state and local income tax returns. A quick search on the website or on your local tax agency’s website should help you determine which deadlines apply to your type of business. 

Tax Forms for Employees

If you hire employees, you are required to furnish them with an annual Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2) at the end of each year. If you use a payroll service like Gusto, the good news is your W-2s have likely been filed for you. Still, it’s a good idea to review year-end payroll reports to verify that all paychecks and bonuses for the year were included.

The deadline to distribute W-2s to your employees (via mail or in-person) and to the Federal Government is January 31st. 

Don’t Forget 1099s

We wrote an awesome article about preparing for 1099s here. There are special rules as to when a 1099 is required, but the most common ones are if you made payments of $600 or more to independent contractors, consultants, professional service providers or for rent. Here are some deadlines to keep in mind:


1099 Due Dates To Recipients

Filing to IRS by Mail

E-File to IRS

1099- MISC 

(Non-Employee Comp Only)

January 31, 2020

January 31, 2020

January 31, 2020

1099-MISC (All Others)

January 31, 2020

February 28, 2020

March 31, 2020


January 31, 2020

February 28, 2020

March 31, 2020

Estimated Tax Payments

Many small business owners are required to submit estimated federal tax payments. Pay close attention to the due dates as you could be penalized by the IRS if you miss a deadline.

1040-ES Estimated Tax Schedule:

    • April 15th
    • June 15th
    • September 15th
    • January 15th

Updated 4/27/2020 – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, estimated income tax deposits that were scheduled from April 1, 2020 through July 14, 2020 have been extended to July 15, 2020. See the IRS press release for more details.

You will have to do some research or ask your CPA or tax professional for any other estimated deadline dates that might apply to you.

Hopefully, this article gave you an overview of important deadlines going into next year. Do you need additional help preparing for the year-end so you can meet these deadlines? Contact us at [email protected] for a complimentary call on how we can help!