Important Income Tax Deadlines in 2019

Critical Tax Deadlines for the U.S. 2018 Tax Year for Individuals and Businesses

Image by Emily Roberts, 2019

At some point early every year, Americans begin scrambling to figure out what tax forms they must file and when they must file them.

The official deadline to file your federal income tax return can be a little shifty. Yes, it's supposed to be April 15—unless something interferes with that timing, like the date falling on a weekend or a holiday in a certain year. Whenever a tax deadline falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, it's typically moved to the next business day.

This doesn't happen in 2019, however. April 15 falls on a Monday and it's not a holiday, so the filing deadline for your 2018 tax return is indeed April 15 in 2019.

An exception to the 2019 due date exists if you happen to live in Massachusetts or Maine. These states recognize Patriot's Day on April 15, and the District of Columbia recognizes Emancipation Day on April 16, so the tax filing deadline is pushed to April 17 if you live in either of these states. 

The Internal Revenue Service began processing tax returns in 2019 on Jan. 28. Here are some other important deadlines you might want keep in mind. 

Deadlines in Calendar Year 2019 for 2018 Returns

Estimated tax payments for the 2018 Tax Year (IRS Form 1040-ES) 

  • These were due on April 17, June 15, and Sept. 17, 2018. The fourth and final estimated payment for the 2018 tax year was due on Jan. 15, 2019. 

Estimated tax payments for the 2019 Tax Year (IRS Form 1040-ES) 

  • April 15, 2019
  • June 17, 2019
  • Sept. 16, 2019
  • Jan. 15, 2020

Partnership returns (IRS Form 1065): 

  • March 15, 2019 
  • Extended deadline is Sept. 16, 2019

Estates and Trusts income tax returns (IRS Form 1041):

  • April 15, 2019
  • Extended deadline is Sept. 30, 2019

C-corporation income tax returns (IRS Form 1120): 

  • April 15, 2019 for C corporations that operate on a calendar year
  • Extended deadline is Oct. 15, 2019
  • The deadline for C corp returns is the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the corporation's fiscal year if the corporation is on a fiscal rather than a calendar year. 

S-corporation returns (IRS Form 1120-S):

  • March 15, 2019 for corporations on a calendar year
  • Extended deadline is Sept. 15, 2019
  • The deadline for S corp and partnership returns is the 15th day of the third month following the end of the fiscal year if they are on a fiscal year rather than a calendar year.

Foreign bank account reports (IRS FinCen Form 114):

  • April 15, 2019
  • Extended deadline with Form 1040 is Oct. 15, 2019

Deadlines Organized by Date

January 15, 2019

  • Deadline to pay the fourth quarter estimated tax payment for tax year 2018

January 31, 2019

  • Deadline for employers to mail out W-2 Forms to their employees and for businesses to furnish 1099 Forms reporting, among other things, nonemployee compensation, bank interest, dividends, and distributions from a retirement plan

February 15, 2019

  • Deadline for financial institutions to mail out Form 1099-B relating to sales of stock, bonds, or mutual funds through a brokerage account, Form 1099-S relating to real estate transactions; and Form 1099-MISC if the sender is reporting payments in boxes 8 or 14 

February 28, 2019

  • Deadline for businesses to mail Forms 1099 and 1096 to the IRS 

March 15, 2019

  • Deadline for corporate tax returns (Forms 1120, 1120-A, and 1120-S) for the year 2018, or to request automatic six-month extension of time to file (Form 7004) for corporations that use the calendar year as their tax year
  • Deadline to file partnership tax returns (Form 1065) or to request an automatic five-month extension of time to file (Form 7004)

April 15, 2019

  • Deadline to file individual tax returns (Form 1040) for the year 2018 or to request an automatic extension (Form 4868). An extension provides an extra six months to file your return. Payment of the tax is still due by April 15. You can submit payment for any taxes you owe along with the extension form.
  • Last day to make a contribution to traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Health Savings Account, SEP-IRA, or solo 401(k) for the 2018 tax year. You have until October 15 to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) if you get an extension.
  • First-quarter estimated tax payments due for the 2019 tax year
  • Deadline to file estate income tax or trust income tax returns (Form 1041) or to request an automatic five-month extension of time to file (Form 7004)

May 31, 2019

June 17, 2019

June 17, 2019

  • Deadline for U.S. citizens living abroad to file individual tax returns or file Form 4868 for an automatic 4-month extension 

September 16, 2019

October 1, 2019

  • Deadline for self-employed persons or small employers to establish a SIMPLE-IRA

October 15, 2019

  • Final extended deadline to file individual tax returns for the year 2018 (Form 1040) 
  • Last day the IRS will accept an electronically filed tax return for the year 2018. If you're filing after this date, you'll have to mail in your tax return for processing.
  • Final deadline to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for tax year 2018 if you requested an automatic extension of time to file.

What If You Miss a Date?

You'll probably be hit with a moderate financial penalty, if only an extra interest charge, if you don't submit your return and any payment due on that return by the deadline. But the IRS should accept your money and your tax return and that will be the end of it unless there's another problem.

The IRS says you should file your return as soon as possible if you miss a deadline. If you owe taxes, pay them as soon as possible as well. 

Go to IRS Direct Pay and have the payment debited directly from your bank account if you owe money and don't want to send a check to the IRS via snail mail, risking all the extra time that might entail. You might also want to e-file your late return if you haven't missed that deadline as well. Most taxpayers can e-file at IRS Free File. The IRS will accept e-filed returns up until November. It will announce the exact date in November sometime in October 2019. 

File your return anyway and immediately apply for a payment plan if you can't pay the tax you owe right away. The IRS will generally let you pay over time as long as you make arrangements to do so.