The Internal Revenue Service requires all business taxpayers to pay income tax in full by the tax return’s filing deadline. Unlike other types of business entity, LLCs do not have a separate filing deadline. The appropriate filing deadline depends on the type of entity you designate the business as for tax purposes.
If you elect to treat the LLC as a corporation for tax purposes, you must file an annual IRS Form 1120 by the due date. The due date of the LLCs corporate tax return is the 15th day of the third month following the end of the tax year. You must choose to use either a fiscal or calendar tax year when you file the business’s first income tax return. A calendar year requires you to report all income and expenses for the period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. A fiscal year is any consecutive 12-month period that ends on a date other than Dec. 31. For example, if the LLC begins operations on July 15 and you elect a calendar year for tax reporting, you can prepare a short-year return for the period of July 15 through Dec. 31 and file it by March 15 of the following year. In all successive tax years, the return is due on March 15 but will cover the tax period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.
Limited liability companies that are subject to the partnership taxation rules must conform the tax year to the accounting period that the members who own a majority interest in the LLC use. If a majority of the members do not use identical accounting periods, the LLC must use the period that principal partners use. A principal partner is a LLC member having a 5 percent or more interest in the profits or capital of the LLC. If neither rule applies, the LLC must use an accounting period that results in the least aggregate deferral of income to the members. The LLC must file IRS Form 1065 by the 15th day of the fourth month after the tax year ends. For example, if one of the rules requires the LLC to use a tax year of June 1 through May 31, you must file the 1065 and pay all taxes in full by Sept. 15 of each year.
If you are the sole member of the LLC, the business entity is disregarded for tax purposes. Disregarding the LLC requires you to include all income and expenses of the business on a personal tax return. Therefore, the due date of the return is the same day the Form 1040 is due. All individuals must file the tax return and pay all taxes that relate to the LLC by April 15 each year.
Changing Tax Years
You can change the tax year of an LLC that you treat as a corporation or partnership for tax purposes by making an application with the IRS on Form 1128. However, individual taxpayers are ineligible to request the change.
- John Rowley/Digital Vision/Getty Images