Who’s Responsible for Your Business Tax Return?

People have asked me several times how often they need be asked where their information is to file their tax return.  Well let’s take a look at the history of the tax filing deadline.

*1913 – initially started March 1st

*1918 – moved to March 15th

*1955 – moved to April 15th unless it fell on a weekend or a holiday

Now these dates were originally set-up for personal taxes, however over time business tax returns were kept to the March 15th deadline, as they were first started in 1894, but it was later amended in 1909 when a key part of the tax was ruled unconstitutional.  For anyone who started a business after 1909, the business tax return filing hasn’t changed in now for 110 years.

So back to the question – who’s responsible for your business tax return?  The person who runs the business is the one ultimately required to make sure that the filing has been completed or at least a tax filing extension completed.  From there it’s up to who they choose to make sure that the tax return has been completed with the appropriate information based upon the business’ financial statements.

So many business owners fail to ask the most basic of tax questions, including when their tax return is due.   In fact, I’ve had owners come up to me after presentations I’ve given and ask what they’re supposed to do because they didn’t receive a notice as to about when and how they’re supposed to do their tax filing.  Well it doesn’t exist, because the IRS feels that if you choose to either start or invest/purchase a business, then you are the one to be held accountable to make sure that your business stays in compliance.

Always remember that on top of making sure the bank accounts get reconciled, the bills get paid, you collect your monies from your customers, your tax return gets filed because trying to get caught up can be a different challenge in and of itself.  Speaking from personal work experience, the longest amount of annual business tax returns was 9 years a client hadn’t filed.  There are excuses for everything, but just like death, taxes can’t be avoided.

Dwayne J. Briscoe