Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare and file your 2016 tax returns; that’s stressful, and it leads to errors and over-paying. Get organized now and comply with the below list of Tax Due Dates.
Try to file and pay your individual tax returns well before the April 18, 2017 deadline. If you cannot, then file an automatic extension to receive six-months additional time. Caution: It’s only an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay taxes owed. In good faith, estimate and report on the extension form what you think you owe for the tax year 2016 based on your tax information received. (Learn more in my blog post Don’t Sweat The Tax Deadline, Just Get An Extension.)
Consider our excellent GNM Virtual Tax compliance service for traders and general clients.
Tax Due Dates
*Jan. 17, 2017:
- Q4 2016 estimated taxes are due. Many traders omitted or underpaid Q1, Q2 and or Q3 2016 estimated tax vouchers since they thought they could lose money later in the year. Now is the time to catch up based on actual profit or loss. Don’t overlook the “prior year safe harbor” rule: You only have to cover 100% of 2015 taxes, 110% if AGI was over $150,000, with the balance of 2016 taxes payable April 18, 2017.
*Jan. 31, 2017:
- Jan. 30 is the end of the 30-day period for calculating wash sale loss deferrals on closed securities trades in 2016. Be diligent in Jan. to avoid wash sales, which can increase your 2016 capital gains income.
- Prepare, issue and e-file W-2s for employees, and Form 1099-Misc for vendors and independent contractors of your business. (Accelerated due date, NEW this year).
- Fund 401(k) retirement plan elective deferrals for Dec. 2016.
*Mar. 15, 2017:
- 2016 S-Corp tax returns or extensions are due.
- 2016 Partnership tax returns or extensions are due (NEW this year, it used to be April 15).
- 2016 S-Corp or partnership Form 7004 extension filings allow for 6-months additional time to file until Sep. 15, 2017.
- 2017 S-Corp Election Form 2553 is due for existing S-Corps. Most states accept the federal election, but a few do not. (Traders need an S-Corp to unlock employee benefit plan deductions, including health insurance and retirement.)
- 2017 Section 475 election is due for existing S-Corp or partnership trading companies with trader tax status. (If you have significant Q1 2017 trading losses, you should seriously consider this election, even if you have a capital loss carryover to use up.)
- 2017 Section 475 revocation election is due for existing S-Corp or partnership trading companies.
*April 18, 2017: (the 15th is on the weekend)
- 2016 Individual tax returns or extensions are due with tax payments.
- 2016 Individual Form 4868 extension filings allow for 6-months additional time to file until Oct. 17, 2017.
- 2017 Section 475 election is due for existing individual taxpayers with trader tax status. (If you have significant Q1 2017 trading losses, you should seriously consider this election, even if you have a capital loss carryover to use up. You can form an entity right afterward to get back to capital gains treatment.)
- 2017 Section 475 revocation election is due for existing individuals.
- 2016 Traditional or Roth IRA and Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions are due.
- Download 2016 tax information documents in PDF format and upload them in a secure and encrypted manner to your tax compliance service provider.
- Fill out questionnaires and follow checklists from your CPA firm.
- Accounting: Use an accounting solution or service customized to your needs, and catch up with annual accounting for 2016. Your accounting system should generate revenue, income, capital gains and losses, business expenses, itemized deductions, and home-office expenses. For entities, it should also produce the balance sheet including assets, liabilities and equity. Proper accounting saves tax preparation time, and it ensures maximizing tax deductions.
- Accounting for securities trading: Active traders should consider the GNM trade accounting service, whether you use the realization or Section 475 MTM method. Download transactions from brokers.
Consider the GNM virtual process
You don’t have to be a trader to benefit from our web-based virtual tax service, available to U.S. residents around the U.S. and the world. Since 1997, clients and the media recognize GNM Virtual Tax as the leading CPA firm for traders. We earned their recognition for two reasons: Valuable “trader tax” ideas and clients appreciating our efficient virtual process, delivering excellent customer experience and service. Learn more about GNM Virtual Tax and our virtual process.
Resources for the 2017 tax season
- Green’s 2017 Trader Tax Guide available in paperback and PDF format.
- Webinars: GreenTraderTax Webinars scheduled for Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed Trading, and FXCM during Q1 2017.
- Events: Robert Green CPA is presenting a Workshop “Trader Tax Law” at the Traders Expo New York City on Feb. 28, 2017, at 8:00 am ET. Meet Mr. Green at our kiosk in the Exhibit Hall.
- Website content: Visit our Trader Tax Center, blog archive, Webinar recordings, Tax Tools and other content on our Website.
We wish you a successful tax season.
Darren Neuschwander CPA and Adam Manning CPA contributed to this blog post.