All the dates & deadlines you need to know
Published October 7, 20213 min read
Table of contents
Taxpayers need to file their personal income tax returns by Tax Day (May 17, 2021) but there are also other tax deadlines that someone may need to know. For example, anyone who pays estimated taxes needs to make four annual payments by the correct dates or they could owe a tax penalty. This article gathers all the common tax deadlines that you may need to ensure you avoid IRS penalties and late fees. We’ve also included other significant tax dates, like when you should expect to get your annual tax forms.
Each year, the IRS releases its official tax deadlines, which adhere to certain federal regulations. But, under different circumstances, these dates may change from time to time. For example, Tax Day is supposed to fall on April 15th, but it was moved to May 17 in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline to file a tax return and pay any bill you owe was May 17, 2021, unless you requested a filing extension
2021 estimated tax payments are due May 17, June 15, September 15, and January 18 (2022)
Businesses have a different set of tax deadlines, which also vary based on the type of business
|Tax event||2021 deadline||2022 deadline (expected)|
|Fourth installment of estimated taxes is due||January 15, 2021||January 18, 2022|
|Deadline for employers to send W-2 forms and most 1099 forms||February 1, 2021||February 1, 2022|
|IRS begins accepting tax returns||February 12, 2021||January 2022|
|File a new W-4 form if you claimed exemption from income tax withholding the previous year||February 16, 2021||February 15, 2022|
|Deadline for companies to send 1099-B, 1099-S, and certain 1099-MISC forms to recipients||February 16, 2021||February 15, 2022|
|Partnerships must provide each partner with a copy of Schedule K-1||March 15, 2021||March 15, 2022|
|Federal income tax returns are due; first installment of estimated tax is due; deadline to make a prior year contribution to a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA||May 17, 2021 (Tax Day)||April 15, 2022 (Tax Day)|
|Household employers who paid cash wages of $2,200 or more during the previous year must file Schedule H||May 17, 2021||April 15, 2022|
|Second installment of estimated tax payment is due||June 15, 2021||June 15, 2022|
|Federal income tax returns due for U.S. taxpayers who received an automatic two-month extension for living abroad||June 15, 2021||June 15, 2022|
|Third installment of estimated tax payment is due||September 15, 2021||September 15, 2022|
|Tax filing deadline if you requested a tax extension earlier in the year||October 15, 2021||October 17, 2022|
|Fourth installment of estimated tax payment is due||January 18, 2022||January 17, 2023|
If you need to pay quarterly estimated taxes for 2021, the four payment deadlines are:
May 17, 2021
June 15, 2021
September 15, 2021
January 18, 2022
Note that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for the first 2021 estimated tax payment was extended to May 17 along with Tax Day. If you miss the January deadline for the fourth installment, you can also file your full individual income tax return and pay your full tax bill by February 1 in order to avoid tax penalties.
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There are currently 12 permanent federal holidays. All IRS offices are closed on federal holidays. If you have a tax deadline that would normally fall on the date of a legal holiday, your deadline is pushed to the next weekday.
The 12 federal holidays for 2021 are:
January 1: New Year's Day
January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 20: Inauguration Day
February 15: President’s Day (also Washington’s Birthday)
May 31: Memorial Day
June 18: Juneteenth National Independence Day
July 5: Independence Day (observed, since July 4 falls on a Sunday)
September 6: Labor Day
October 11: Columbus Day (also Indigenous Peoples' Day)
November 11: Veterans Day
November 25: Thanksgiving Day
December 24: Christmas Day (observed)
Your individual state or city may also have its own legal holidays, so make sure to check with your state tax department if you are unsure about an upcoming tax deadline conflicting with a state holiday.
Most states with income taxes will use the federal Tax Day as their filing and payment deadline, but your state may have its own deadline (especially for tax returns filed during the coronavirus pandemic). Make sure to double check with your state when filing taxes.
If you’re a property owner, also make sure to check your state’s property tax deadlines. Many states require you to pay property tax in two installments each year but exact dates — and other details like where you need to make your payments — vary by state.
Learn more about how property taxes work.
If you work a job where you earn tips that you don’t have to report to your employer — like if your employer doesn’t have a computerized point of sale system to log tips — then you need to report the tips to your employer by the 10th day of the next month. Make sure to include cash tips and any unreported tips from credit card and debit card transactions. If your tips were less than $20, you don’t need to report them. One common way to report your tips to your employer is with IRS Form 4070.
If the 10th falls on a holiday or weekend, you have until the next weekday. The dates for reporting monthly tips to your employers in 2021 are:
Note that if you receive a non-cash tip, like event tickets or other items of value, you don’t need to report it to your employer, but you should still include it on your tax return because it's taxable income.
Individual taxpayers and businesses have different tax deadlines. Business tax deadlines also vary based on the type of business. A sole proprietor and a single-member LLC will share some tax deadlines with individual income taxes in the table above. Deadlines are different (but similar) for partnerships and S corporations. C corporations have distinct deadlines, which may also differ based on whether the company’s tax returns follow the calendar year or a separate fiscal year.
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