Q: What are the new tax filing deadlines under the highway funding law?
A: In addition to providing continued funding for federal transportation projects, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 changes the due dates for several types of tax and information returns:
Partnership income tax returns. The new due date for partnerships with tax years ending on December 31 to file federal income tax returns is March 15. For partnerships with fiscal year ends, tax returns are due the 15th day of the third month after the close of the tax year. Under prior law, returns for calendar-year partnerships were due April 15, and returns for fiscal-year partnerships were due the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of the fiscal tax year.
Under the highway funding law, the IRS may allow a maximum extension of six months (until September 15) for Form 1065, “U.S. Return of Partnership Income,” for calendar-year taxpayers. This is up from five months under prior law. So the extension deadline doesn’t change, only the length of the extension.
Corporation income tax returns. The new deadline for C corporations to file income tax returns is the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of the corporation’s tax year. In other words, C corporations with tax years ending on December 31 must file federal income tax returns on or before April 15. Under prior law, such returns were due on the 15th day of the third month after close. (S corporations must continue to file returns on the 15th day of the third month after close, however.)
Under the highway funding law, C corporations are also generally allowed an automatic six-month extension. This is up from three months under prior law (though C corporations could apply for an additional three-month extension, for a total extension of six months).
FinCEN Form 114. The deadline for Form 114, “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,” changes from June 30 to April 15, with a maximum six-month extension. No extension was allowed for this form under prior law.
Form 3520. The deadline for Form 3520, “Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts,” changes from June 30 to April 15 for taxpayers with a calendar year end, with a maximum six-month extension ending on October 15.
The highway fund extension law also revises the extension periods for several filing deadlines. A maximum extension of 5½ months (until September 30) is available for calendar-year taxpayers that file Form 1041, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts.” Under prior law, the form had a due date of April 15, with a five-month extension to September 15.
Also under the highway funding law, a maximum extension of 3½ months (until November 15) is available for Form 5500, “Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan,” for calendar-year plans. This is an extra month over the previous extension date.
In addition to the forms referenced above, extensions of up to six months may be obtained for other forms, such as:
- Form 5227, “Split-Interest Trust Information Return” (from the due date),
- Form 8870, “Information Return for Transfers Associated With Certain Personal Benefit Contracts” (from the due date), and
- Form 3520-A,“Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner,” for taxpayers that use calendar year ends (until September 15).
The revised due dates are generally effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015. In other words, they generally apply to the tax returns for 2016 that are due in 2017.
C corporations with tax years ending on June 30, however, aren’t subject to the new due dates until tax years beginning after December 31, 2025. And calendar-year corporations aren’t allowed the new automatic six-month extension (until October 15) until tax years beginning after December 31, 2025. However, they can enjoy a five-month automatic extension (until September 15) for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, and before January 1, 2026.
Seek the services of a legal or tax adviser before implementing any ideas contained in this blog.