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September 15 business tax return deadline looms: are you ready?

by on
in Tax Matters

If you filed an extension for your 2010 corporation, partnership or LLC income tax return, this is a friendly reminder that the September 15 due date is just a few days away. Are you ready? Here's some good news and some bad news. First, the good news. The IRS has provided some tax relief to victims of Hurricane Irene. If you live in certain parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Vermont, the September 15 filing deadline has been extended to October 31. To find out if you qualify for this October 31 extension, visit the IRS website for details: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=245004,00.html Here's some more good news. The IRS is allowing taxpayers until September 22 to file returns normally due September 15 if their tax preparers were affected by Hurricane Irene. By "affected", the preparer must be located in an area that was under an evacuation order or a severe weather warning because of Hurricane Irene, even if the preparer is not located within the federally declared disaster areas. Now, the bad news. If you qualify for the October 31 deadline, do not file your return late. If you qualify for the September 22 deadline, do not file your return late.  If you must file by the September 15 deadline, do not file your return late. There are stiff penalties for filing late, even if you are filing an income tax return that has a zero balance due, which is usually the case for S Corporations and Partnerships. Here is the rule for the late filing of an S Corporation income tax return: The penalty is $195 for each month or part of a month (up to 12 months) the return is late or does not include the required information, multiplied by the total number of persons who were shareholders in the corporation during any part of the corporation's tax year for which the return is due. And here's the rule for late filing of a partnership income tax return: The penalty is $195 for each month or part of a month (for a maximum of 12 months) the failure continues, multiplied by the total number of persons who were partners in the partnership during any part of the partnership's tax year for which the return is due. C Corporation late filing rules are different: A corporation that does not file its tax return by the due date, including extensions, may be penalized 5% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month the return is late, up to a maximum of 25% of the unpaid tax. The minimum penalty for a return that is over 60 days late is the smaller of the tax due or $135. So there you have it.  Moral of the story: whether your corporation or partnership return is due September 15 or September 22 or October 31, please file on time.

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