2020 Dates Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know

 In Business News

At Simple Startup, we love entrepreneurs. Helping dreamers achieve their business goals is what gets us out of bed every morning.

But even the most passionate of our clients has things they hate about running a small business. The most common? Tax deadlines.

Oh yeah, and 401(k) paperwork. Filing deadlines, contribution deadlines, forms upon forms upon forms, red tape, bureaucracy, blah, blah, blah.

It’s not fun to think about, but it’s an important part of keeping a business afloat. Fortunately for you, the team here at Simple Startup actually likes taking care of this stuff.

It’s possible we have an undiagnosed condition that makes us this way, but we prefer to think it’s just our passion for seeing bookkeeping done right.

Whatever the reason, you’ve come to the right place to get your accounting calendar in order for the year. So without further ado, here are all the dates you need to know to stay on top of important financial accounting deadlines in 2020.


January 15: 2019 Q4 Estimated Quarterly Income Tax Payments Due

If you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes at the end of the year, you’ll want to pay estimated quarterly taxes. This is true for shareholders in S Corps, individuals, partners, and sole proprietors.

Corporations who will owe $500 or more for the year also need to make estimated quarterly payments.

January 31: Provide W-2 Forms to Employees

You need to have all your employees’ W-2 forms for the previous year postmarked by this date.

January 31: Provide 1099s to All Recipients

Anyone you paid who isn’t your employee needs to get a record of said payments for the previous year by this date, in the form of a 1099.

January 31: File 1099-MISC (NEC) to IRS

If you’ve got 1099s with an amount greater than $0 in the Nonemployee Compensation (NEC) box, you need to send these to the IRS by January 31st.

This is a hard deadline, regardless of whether you file by paper or electronically. And regardless of how cool you are. Sorry.

February 14: 2019 Q4 401(k) Statements Due

Employees participating in your company’s 401(k) need their Q4 statements for 2019 by this date. Best. Valentine’s. Day. Gift. Ever.

February 28: File 1094 & 1095 Forms to IRS (Paper Deadline)

Your employee health coverage forms are due to the IRS by this date, if you’re filing by paper.

February 28: File Other 1099s to IRS (Paper Deadline)

Got any other 1099s with empty NEC boxes? This is the paper filing deadline to get them to the IRS.

March 2: Provide 1095 Forms to Employees

The IRS is giving employers a bit of a break this year by extending the deadline for getting 1095 health coverage forms out to employees. Hurray! You still have to do it, though.

March 16: Tax Filing Deadline for S Corps & Partnerships

Running an S Corp or in an IRS-designated partnership? Your corporate tax deadline is March 16.

You can file for a 6-month extension by this date, but it’s just an extension for filing, not for paying taxes. Interest will accrue on unpaid taxes.

March 16: 401(k) ADP/ACP Refunds Due

If you want to avoid a 10% excise tax for highly compensated employees, this is when you need to refund them if you fail the Actual Deferral Percentage and Aggregate Contribution Percentage tests.

March 31: File Other 1099s to IRS (Electronic Deadline)

This is the e-filing deadline for 1099s without NEC.

March 31: File 1094 & 1095 Forms to IRS (Electronic Deadline)

Health coverage forms 1094 and 1095 (B & C) need to be electronically filed by this date, if you didn’t previously file by paper.

April 15: 2020 Q1 Estimated Quarterly Income Tax Payments Due

Corporations who expect to owe more than $500 in taxes for 2020 need to postmark their Q1 estimated payment by this date. Everyone else expecting to pay more than $1,000 are in the same boat.

April 15: Deadline for SEP Contributions

If you provide a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA to employees, you need to make your employer contributions by this date.

April 15: Deadline for IRA Contributions

If you have your own retirement account, this is the deadline for making your yearly contribution.

April 15: Tax Filing Deadline for Personal Taxes, C Corps, LLCs, and Sole Props

This is Tax Day for most Americans. Sole proprietorships, C Corps, LLCs, and individuals need to have filed their taxes by this day. You can also apply for an extension.

April 15: 401(k) Excess Deferral Refunds Due

There is a limit on how much employees can contribute to their 401(k) each year. If you didn’t enforce the limit and they contributed too much in the previous year, April 15 is the deadline for refunding them their excess to correct the mistake.

May 15: Tax Filing Deadline for Nonprofits, Charities, and Other Exempt Orgs

Nonprofits and other tax-exempt organizations still have to file returns — they just get a little longer to do it. May 15 is their deadline, or they can file for an extension.

May 15: 2020 Q1 401(k) Statements Due

Employees participating in your company’s 401(k) need their Q1 statements for 2020 by this date.

June 15: 2020 Q2 Estimated Quarterly Income Tax Payments Due

See above. If you’re required to make quarterly tax payments, Q2 is due on June 15.

June 30: 401(k) ADP/ACP Refunds Due for EACA Plans

Any employees with EACA automatic enrollment 401(k)s must receive any ADP/ACP refunds by June 30.

July 31: File Employee Benefit Form 5500 to Dept. of Labor

Employee benefit plan annual reports are due to the Department of Labor by July 31, 2020. The IRS provides the Form 5500 series for this.

You can also file a Form 5558 for a 10-week extension request. S Corps, LLCs and partnerships that don’t file for an extension automatically get a corporate extension of 6 weeks.

August 15: Extension Deadline for Exempt Organizations

Tax-exempt organizations who filed for an extension have until August 15 to get their returns in.

August 15: 2020 Q2 401(k) Statements Due

Employees participating in your company’s 401(k) need their Q2 statements for 2020 by this date.

September 1: Safe Harbor 401(k) Notices Due for New Plans

Setting up a new safe harbor plan for an employee? This is the deadline to let them know!

September 15: 2020 Q3 Estimated Quarterly Income Tax Payments Due

See above. Anyone required to make quarterly tax payments needs to get Q3 estimated payments in by September 15.

September 15: Extension Deadline for Partnerships & S Corps

Remember when you filed for that extension 6 months ago? Well, it’s been 6 months. So yeah. Get on it.

September 15: Form 5500 Automatic Corporate Extension Deadline

Forget to submit From 5500 back in July? And you forgot to file Form 5558 for a proper 10-week extension?

S Corporations, partnerships, and LLCs automatically get a 6-week extension, which means you’re a lucky duck if you’re running one of those. Automatically extended 5500s are due by September 15.

September 30: 401(k) Summary Annual Report Due to Employees

A Summary Annual Report (SAR) includes the value of your company’s 401(k) and other information you filed in Form 5500. The deadline to provide the SAR to your employees is 9 months after the previous plan year ended. It’s like birthing the world’s most boring baby!

October 1: Deadline for Setting Up New Safe Harbor 401(k)s

This is the deadline to start a new safe harbor 401k plan.

October 15: Extension Deadline for Individuals & C Corps

If your taxes were due on April 15 but you filed for an extension, your time is up.

October 15: Extension Deadline for Form 5500

If you filed a 5558, now is the time to get your 5500 in. Copy? Roger that.

November 2: Simple 401(k) Notices Due

Offering a Simple 401(k) to your employees starting in 2021? You need to let employees know about the plan and the details of how it works 60 days in advance of the new year.

November 14: 2020 Q3 401(k) Statements Due

Employees participating in your company’s 401(k) need their Q3 statements for 2020 by this date.

November 15: 401(k) SAR Due for S Corps, LLCs, and Partnerships w/ Extensions

If your S Corporation, Partnership, or LLCs filed for a tax extension, you have until November 15 to get your SAR out to employees.

December 1: Safe Harbor 401(k) Upgrade Notices Due for Existing Plans

Upgrading your current 401(k) to a safe harbor plan in 2021? you’re required to notify employees 90 to 30 days in advance of the new year.

December 15: 401(k) SAR Due for C Corps

If your C Corp filed for a tax extension, you have until December 15 to get your SAR out to employees.

Are You Having Fun Yet?

Well, you’ve made it this far. Good job, you successfully scrolled over all these dates while your eyes slowly glazed over.

We get it. You didn’t start your business as an excuse to fill out Form 5500s all the time.

But it doesn’t have to be all paperwork all the time. There are effective ways to streamline your processes, accounting and otherwise, making your business more efficient, more productive, and more profitable.

The Simple Startup Academy shows you the ropes to do just that, then sets you free to grow your dream into a sustainable, high-value operation. Learn more about our upcoming Academy courses here »

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