A highway-funding bill passed by the Senate on July 30, 2015, and signed by President Obama on July 31st, contained certain tax provisions that change the due date of tax returns for many businesses. The bill, H.R. 3236, titled as the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, was intended to extend financing for highway infrastructure, but also introduced revisions to the due dates of partnership, corporate, and foreign account tax returns. The new dates will take effect for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, meaning they will generally begin with returns filed in 2017 (for the 2016 tax year), and include the following changes:
Returns for partnerships reporting on a calendar-year basis will be required to file by March 15th, rather than the current due date of April 15th. Partnerships reporting on a fiscal year must file by the 15th day of the third month following the close of the fiscal year.
Subchapter C Corporation returns for calendar-year filers will become due on April 15th, rather than March 15th. For C corporations reporting on a fiscal-year basis, returns will become due the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the fiscal year.
One seemingly strange exception to the new C corporation due dates relates to corporations with tax years ending June 30th. For these corporations, the new due date does not take effect for 10 years. These corporations will continue to file by September 15th of each year until the year 2025, at which point that due date will move to October 15th.
For both partnerships and C corporations, the new law provides an elective six-month filing extension, with exceptions for certain corporations.
Foreign Bank Account Reports, or “FBARs,” also called Form 114, will become due on April 15th each year, rather than the current due date of June 30th. FBARs are used to report foreign bank accounts that, in the aggregate, total $10,000 or more. While the new due date for FBAR’s will be considerably earlier than the current requirement, Congress has eased this burden slightly by also approving an optional 6-month filing extension.
The American Institute of CPAs has heralded these changes as a substantial victory for taxpayers and tax preparers. The new due dates provide corporate taxpayers additional time to gather flow-through information that was often not available before the previous deadline, and is expected to reduce the number of extensions and amended returns filed by individual and corporate taxpayers.