I’ve always been a big fan of change. I’m first in line for the latest software updates, gleefully tapping my fingers at the new features. I love discovering new places and new adventures. And when we talk about that four year process of getting new presidents, well, we all know that is necessary to keep zombie FDR from rising from the grave and reclaiming the Oval Office.
The filing deadline change this year struck me as a pretty good idea. For much longer than my professional memory goes back, C Corporations and S Corporations have been due on March 15th, while partnerships and individuals are due on April 15th (technically. Thanks to Washington DC recently declaring April 15th Emancipation Day, the actual filing date has consistently been pushed back a day or three. As if none of them had ever filed their own tax return and didn’t realize that something was already happening that day).
This old arraignment made no sense. C Corporations are their own thing, doing whatever it is they do in their corner of the tax filing party. S Corps and Partnerships, however, flow right into Individual returns. Having a partnership due on 4/15 basically guarantees that any individual owning a partnership will have to extend. Unless, I suppose, you have an overzealous CPA and/or one that has too much time on their hands.
The new due dates put Partnerships and S Corps on a 3/15 filing deadline, which gives individuals a full month to stick their K-1s in their return.
A great idea in theory. In practice, though. Well. Let’s just say I filed a whole ton of extensions this year.
My business client load is about 60% Partnership, 30% S Corp, and 10% C Corp. We were never going to magically get the same amount of returns out with one fewer month to do it.
Worst of all, since our clients haven’t gotten used to the change, that 10% C Corp pool still demands their return by 3/15. Because why not.
Last year, 3/15 really wasn’t too bad. This year, it was a bit of a nightmare.
Change is still good. It’d just be nice if it didn’t require so much extra work.
If you’re reading this now and thinking, “Oh Crap, I didn’t file my partnership extension! I thought it was still due 4/15!” No worries. You’re probably fine. The IRS will give you a few penalties, but you can most likely get them waived. Read about it over here.