State Corporate Income Tax Return Deadline Changes
Many states are moving away from having corporate income tax returns due on the same day as the federal corporate return. States are giving taxpayers more time to file their state tax returns after the federal return deadline. The extra time assists taxpayers in completing accurate state returns.
Federal Tax Return Due Dates
Federal income tax return, Form 1120, is due by April 15th for calendar year taxpayers, or the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of the corporation's fiscal year. Although, for a fiscal year ending on June 30, the filing deadline is September 15th.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows an automatic six-month federal extension to corporate income taxpayers if Form 7004 is filed by the original due date of the return. Corporations with a June 30 fiscal year end are allowed a 7-month federal extension.
State Tax Return Due Date
Most state corporate income tax returns are due at the same time as the federal return. States use federal adjustable gross income (AGI) or taxable income as the starting point for computing state taxes. So to complete the state return, taxpayers need to complete their federal return.
That means when there is a delay in completing the federal tax return, the state return cannot be completed either. Federal legislation enacted late in the tax year has left state legislatures with little time to decide if they will conform or decouple from the federal changes.
Making the due date later than the federal due date gives the taxpayer time to take these changes into account. Even if taxpayers extend the return due date, they still have to pay taxes owed and need to compute or closely approximate the proper tax amounts due to avoid penalties and interest.
Several states have due dates that are a month or longer after the federal return deadline. This gives taxpayers more time to complete their federal return or at least estimate their tax due. Extensions that are longer than the federal extension period provide additional time for more accurate preparation of the state income tax return after the federal return is completed and filed.
Corporate Return Filing Deadlines
Several states recently enacted legislation changing their due dates. Others established later due dates previously. States with differing due dates include:
- Alaska requires original tax returns to be filed within 30 days after the federal return and allows an automatic extension equal to the federal extension period plus 30 days.
- Arkansas recently enacted legislation allowing a taxpayer who requests an automatic federal extension or receives a federal extension of time for filing a return in addition to an automatic extension, an extension of one month after the due date of the federal income tax return to file the corresponding state return for tax years beginning in or after 2021.
- Arizona recently enacted legislation allowing a 7-month automatic extension for tax years after 2020. The new provision does not apply to small business corporation returns.
- Florida requires corporate returns to be filed by the 1st day of the 5th month following the close of the taxable year or the 15th day after the federal due date. June 30 fiscal year-end returns are due by the 1st day of the 4th month following the close of the taxable year or the 15th day after the federal due date.
- Kansas recently enacted legislation moving the due date for corporate returns to one month after the original or extended deadline for the taxpayer’s federal return, effective for tax years after 2019.
- New Jersey Form CBT-100 is due 30 days after the original due date of the taxpayer's federal return for periods ending on and after July 31, 2020.
- Pennsylvania requires original returns to be filed on or before the 15th day of the month following the due date of the federal return.
- Wisconsin allows an automatic 7-month extension or automatic extension to the federal extended due date plus 30 days.
By Tralawney Trueblood, J.D., M.B.A.