On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law P.L. 114-41, the “Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015,” which includes a number of important tax provisions, including revised due dates for partnership, S corporations and C corporation returns and revised extended due dates for some returns.
Revised Due Dates for Partnership, S & C Corporation Returns
Under the new law, there is a major restructuring of entity return due dates, effective generally for returns for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015:
—Partnerships and S corporations will have to file their returns by the March 15th following the end of the tax year. This results in the filing deadline for partnerships being accelerated by one month with the filing deadline for S corporations staying as March 15.
- By having most partnership returns due one month before individual returns are due, taxpayers and practitioners will generally not have to extend, or scurry around at the last minute to file, the returns of individuals who are partners in partnerships.
—C corporations will have to file by April 15th after the end of the tax year resulting in the filing deadline for C corporations being deferred for one month.
These changes to the filing deadlines generally go into effect for 2016 returns. Under a special rule for C corporations with fiscal years ending on June 30, the change is deferred for ten years and it won’t apply until tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2025.
Revised Extended Due Dates for Various Returns
Taxpayers who can’t file a tax form on time, can request an extension to file the requisite form. Effective for tax returns for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015, the new law directs the IRS to modify its regulations to provide for a longer extension to file a number of forms, including the following:
- Form 1065 – U.S. Return of Partnership Income will have a maximum extension of 6 months. The extension will end on Sept. 15 for calendar year taxpayers.
- Form 1041 – U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts will have a maximum extension of 5 1/2 months. The extension will end on Sept. 30 for calendar year taxpayers.
- The Form 5500 – Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan will have a maximum automatic extension of 3 1/2. The extension will end on Nov. 15 for calendar year filers.
FinCEN Report Due Date Revised
Taxpayers with a financial interest in or signature authority over certain foreign financial accounts must file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). Currently, this form must be filed by June 30 of the year immediately following the calendar year being reported, and no extensions are allowed.
Under the new law, for returns for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015, the due date of FinCEN Report 114 will be Apr. 15, with a maximum extension of 6 months ending on Oct. 15. The IRS may also waive the penalty for failure to timely request an extension for filing the Report, for any taxpayer required to file FinCEN Form 114 for the first time.
Form 3520 and Form 3520 – A Due Date Revised
Form 3520-A is now due on March 15th and will have a maximum extension of 6 months until September 15th.
The IRS or FinCEN need to provide clarification on the format or forms for such extensions, which may be similar to Form 4868, which is the form for requesting extensions on Individual tax returns currently. There may also be a requirement that these extensions be filed on the BSA Website as in the case of the FBAR forms.