Tax Day 2019 is Monday, April 15, and it’s never too early to start getting everything you need to file in order.

The next tax day is April 15, 2019, and even though tax day is still a few months away, it’s never too early to start getting everything you need to file in order. By the time it’s time to file your taxes, you’ll be ready to sit down with your tax preparer.

First thing: Review 2019’s deadlines.

Let’s start by keeping it simple: Know what needs to be done by when.

One of the main tasks in any new year is preparing to file your tax returns. And while taxes are more of a pain than anything else, the good news is: the deadlines are clear.

Get familiar with the deadlines that apply to you. Then you can plot out the path to meeting your tax obligations, including getting all the necessary information to your accountant. Fun fact: Accountants love clients who are on top of their taxes.

What are some key 2019 federal tax deadlines?

January 31, 2019

  • Deadline to distribute annual forms W-2 and 1099-MISC to employees and independent contractors who worked for you in 2018.
  • Transmittal form for W-2sto the Social Security Administration (Form W-3 and all W-2s).
  • Transmittal form for 1099-MISC to the IRS (Form 1096, along with all 1099-MISC forms) are due.
  • File form941 for 4Q 2018 (the quarterly payroll tax withholding return). Or if you are an annual filer, the annual 2018 form 944 is due.
  • Payment of remaining federal unemployment (FUTA) taxes and the Federal Unemployment Tax Report (Form 940)for 2018 are due.
  • Deadline to distribute Form 1095-C to each of your full-time employees, if your business is an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

February 28, 2019

  • Deadline for ALEs to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C by paper with the IRS, under ACA.

March 15, 2019

  • Tax returns for partnerships and S-corporations are due.

April 1, 2019

  • Deadline to electronically file Forms 1094-C 1095-C for ALEs under the ACA.

April 15, 2019

  • Tax returns for C-corporations, sole proprietors, and individuals are due.
  • Estimated tax payments for the 1st quarter of 2019 are due for C-corporations and individuals.

May 15, 2019

  • Tax returns for tax-exempt organizations are due.

June 17, 2019

  • Estimated tax payments for the 2nd quarter of 2019 are due for C-corporations and individuals.

September 16, 2019

  • Extended deadline for partnerships and S-corporations to file tax returns.
  • Estimated tax payments for the 3rd quarter of 2019 are due for C-corporations and individuals.

October 15, 2019

  • Extended deadline for C-corporations, sole proprietors, and individuals to file tax returns.

November 15, 2019

  • Extended deadline for tax-exempt organizations to file tax returns.

December 16, 2019

  • Estimated tax payments for the 4th quarter of 2019 are due for C-corporations.

January 15, 2020

  • Estimated tax payments for the 4th quarter of 2019 are due for individuals.

Close the books and get organized.

This guide is about getting ready for the future, but that means doing a little work in the present. There are some basic to-dos that will not only give you a good snapshot of the year you’ve just had, but also lay the foundation for next year.


For the end of the year, it’s important to make sure your monthly financial statements reconcile (i.e., match up) to your cash and credit accounts, and that you make any adjustments as necessary. If you aren’t sure what to do, this is a perfect excuse to get to know your trusty accountant a little better.

Review your financial statements

Now that everything’s reconciled, how’s your profit and loss statement look? What about your balance sheet? How’s cash flow? Whatever metrics are important to your business, it’s a good practice to review how you’re making and spending money and the financial position of your business.

Collect W-9s from vendors

Did you use vendors this year? Maybe a web developer who revamped your website or a designer who whipped up a new logo? If so, you’ll want to collect W-9 forms for them. The W-9 form can be used as a paper trail for the IRS to track your expenses, and it also helps the government keep track of vendors and their income.

Remember, for every vendor for whom you’ve paid $600 or more for services, you’re required by law to issue and complete a 1099-MISC form. The 1099 must be filled out and submitted to the IRS by January 31.

Gather and organize any necessary documentation

It’s important to gather and organize your important documentation so you can share them with your accountant. Purchases or transactions from 2018 that will impact your business in 2019 and beyond (e.g., lease agreements) will likely have contracts that your accountant will want copies of on file.

Check your payroll

A few common areas to double check during end-of-year accounting include withholding taxes for fringe benefits, deferred compensation, and end-of-year bonuses.

Take physical inventory

For businesses that sell physical goods, getting an accurate tally of your inventory is essential. You’ll want to match those numbers with your end-of-year balance sheet. It’ll also be important for your accountant to know how much you’ve spent on inventory throughout the year and its current value. If you have an annual financial statement audit performed by an outside accounting firm, they may want to observe and test count some of the inventory themselves.

At this point in the preparation process, you should have already received contact from your tax preparaer. If you haven’t, we encourage you to reach out to your accountant to confirm that you’ve successfully wrapped up 2018 and are ready to tackle next year.