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Which tax deadlines are important for startups?

Federal filing dates and key dates

Tax Deadlines for Startups

Unless you’re trying to get everything done right before a filing deadline, there is never a terrible moment to start getting ready for tax season.

While it’s common knowledge that individuals and businesses must submit their federal or state income tax returns in March & April, it’s crucial for startups to be aware of many other essential tax deadlines in the months before Tax Day.

TL;DR

If you’re looking for a specific tax due date, here’s the compressed list:

👉1099-NEC filings: 01/31

👉Delaware Franchise Tax for Corporations: 03/01

👉Federal & State Income Taxes (Partnerships & S Corporations): 03/15

👉Federal & State Income Taxes (All Other Corporations): 04/14 majority; 04/18 state holidays; 10/15 extension.

👉Delaware Franchise Tax for LLCs: 06/01

The many repercussions that come with missing important deadlines, such as penalties, fines, or even jail time in more serious cases, can be avoided by being aware of all the pertinent tax filing deadlines for your company. This can help you prevent last-minute scrambles and avoidable mistakes.

You can make sure that your taxes are submitted accurately and on time by selecting a startup tax provider long before tax season and actively collaborating with them throughout the year. We’ll break down the important tax dates that can apply to your business, whether you’re late to the game or marking your calendar for next year.

1099-NEC reports (01/31)

Vendors, contractors, and independent contractors who were employed by your business and that you paid at least $600 over the course of the year must be reported on 1099 forms.

By the due date for filing, vendors, contractors, and independent contractors must also obtain a copy of their 1099-NEC form.

This rule applies to certain sellers, including sole proprietors, partnerships, and limited liability corporations (LLCs).

Because they are intended to assist the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)  in reducing fraud by validating the income that individual taxpayers declare on their tax returns, this form and other information returns are due at the start of the tax filing season.

Although the IRS does not automatically provide a 30-day extension for filing 1099-NEC forms, your company may be eligible for one if you have gone through specific hardships. You must complete, sign, and mail a 1099-NEC extension request form to the IRS because it cannot be submitted electronically.

It’s excellent news that you don’t have to submit 1099-NEC forms for suppliers, contractors, and independent contractors who don’t reside and operate in the US. There is no need for you to report transactions if you pay suppliers, contractors, and freelancers using a credit card, debit card, gift card, or a third-party payment network like PayPal because the card issuer or payment processor will take care of that for you.

Reimbursement processors and payroll providers, frequently file 1099-NEC forms for you as long as they were used to pay all of your vendors or contractors, but it’s wise to clarify this with them.

When they first begin working for your business, U.S. suppliers, contractors, and independent contractors should complete a W-9 form so that you can get their taxpayer identification number. To correctly file a 1099-NEC form with the IRS, you must have the taxpayer identification number for all relevant vendors, contractors, and freelancers.

If you provide the IRS with an invalid taxpayer identification number or fail to obtain one from a vendor, contractor, or freelancer, non-employee payments may be subject to backup withholding.

Franchise tax for Delaware (03/01)

Regardless of whether you make any revenue or profits, all businesses that were incorporated in the state of Delaware are required to submit an annual report and pay a franchise tax each year.

In Delaware-created limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and general partnerships, there is no annual report requirement, but there is a $300 tax that must be paid.

Delaware Corporations, however, have to determine their Tax liability based on different methods. In general, the authorized shares of your company will determine how much tax your company will pay.

You can select the method that results in a lower tax bill for your company from one of two common approaches. Using either method of calculation, a company’s tax obligation is limited to $200,000 maximum.

  • Authorized shares: no matter how many shares have been issued and are currently being held by stockholders, your taxes will be calculated based on the total number of shares authorized in your company charter. Using this method of calculation, the minimum tax rate is $175.
  • Assumed par value: your taxes are computed using your total gross assets and all of your issued shares, including treasury shares. The minimum tax is $400, and the tax rate for this method of calculation is $400 per $1 million.

A $200 fine and 1.5 percent interest on the unpaid tax balance are possible consequences of failing to file your Delaware franchise tax on time.

Income Taxes: Federal & State  (03/15)

A partnership is, in all practical terms, a relationship between two or more people who conduct business together and contribute resources like money, real estate, labor, and skills. The profits or losses a business may experience are also shared by these designated partners.

Therefore, partnerships are exempt from paying federal income taxes. Instead, all of the individual partners are responsible for paying the taxes on any profits or losses.

On their tax or information returns to the IRS, partners must also include information about the partnership.

In general, there are 2 main kinds of partnerships:

  • General partnership: when running a business, at least two general partners share duties and rights.
  • Limited partnerships: in this kind of partnership, there must be at least one limited partner and at least one general partner, who jointly own and operate the company.

Certain partnership types may need to pay specific taxes in some states. For instance, limited partnerships in California are subject to a $800 annual tax but general partnerships are not.

Whichever type of partnership you have, the following tax forms need to be submitted to the IRS by March 15:

  • Form 1065: this form is used to record the total profit or loss of your partnership, as well as any applicable deductions, including wages, guaranteed payments to partners, rent, taxes, and maintenance. You will be questioned about your partnership, any changes that happened over the previous tax year, the amount of income received and the amount of money spent over that same period in the schedules that are attached to this form.


  • Schedule K-1: this form is used to record the total profit or loss of your partnership, as well as any applicable deductions, including wages, guaranteed payments to partners, rent, taxes, and maintenance.

You will be questioned about your partnership, any changes that happened over the previous tax year, the amount of income received and the amount of money spent over that same period in the schedules that are attached to this form. 

State and federal income taxes (04/14 majority; 04/18 state holidays; 10/15 extension) 

The majority of U.S. corporations, with the exception of S corporations, are required to submit their income tax returns by Tax Day on April 15 just like individual taxpayers. Due to state holidays, this deadline is occasionally extended.

If you need a little more time, you can request an automatic 6-month extension from the IRS by submitting Form 7004 and paying the estimated amount of taxes you owe.

Last thoughts

Tax preparation and filing can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be.

In the four months between January and April, when tax preparers and other businesses are scrambling to get everything filed in time, you won’t need to panic if you prepare ahead of time and contact a tax provider who can guide you through startup taxes.

At Lazo, we  provide startup bookkeeping, back office and tax preparation and filing, intended to help you scale your company by focusing on what really matters: product, team and traction. If you’d like a free consultation call, contact us here.

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