William Shakespeare famously wrote “Beware the Ides of March” in the play Julius Caesar in 1599 and for many years it was just something that was horrific for Caesar, who was assassinated by Marcus us Brutus the Younger in the senate on that date, which corresponds to March 15, in the year 44 B.C.E.
But from 1918 to 1954 everyone was wary of it, because March 15 used to be Tax Day. After the 16th amendment was passed in 1913 allowing the government to collect income taxes, Tax Day was briefly March 1 before moving in 1918 to March 15th, where it sat for 36 years. In 1954, the IRS reorganized and moved it to its current date of April 15, a shift that wasn’t really explained at the time. In 2002, the IRS explained that it had to had to “spread out the peak workload”.
Julius Caesar didn’t heed the warning signs. According to Shakespeare’s study of the famous Roman dictator, Caesar openly ignored many prophecies of his doom. He was too confident to pay attention. And ultimately, he met his bloody end because he scoffed at a soothsayer’s warning to beware the ides of March.
If Caesar had an Enrolled Agent he would know the signs.
Every month can have its challenges for the American business owner.
You are probably not in danger of being murdered by jealous employees and tax deadlines can be just as unpleasant if you, like Caesar, don’t pay attention to the signs.
The signs to heed are:
- For Partnerships, S-Corporations, the federal tax deadline is March 15th, with an extended due date of September 15th
- For C- Corporations the tax federal tax filing deadline is April 18th, with a 6-month extension of time to file
- For individuals, the tax federal tax filing deadline is April 18th, with a with an extended due date of October 15th
- For single-member LLC (also known as a Disregarded Entity), which is reported on the taxpayers’ Schedule C, estimated tax payments are paid on, April 18th, June 15th, and September 15th, January 16th
Then there are all the other deadlines: business license tax filings, property tax reports, payroll tax, sales and use tax, and so on. Depending on your county or state, these must all be filed monthly, quarterly or annually.
The moral of the story: Watch the signs! Watch the signs simply means watch the calendar. Or, better yet, if you’re already juggling a bunch of other things, have someone in your company or your Enrolled Agent track all these dates, or you could find yourself not in compliance in your county, your state, or with the federal government.
Avoiding a fate only slightly less dire than Caesar’s on the 15th of each month is easy. Just remember which taxes you need to file each 15th.