The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, was signed into law in the summer of 2015. In addition to providing continued funding for federal transportation projects, the law includes several tax-related provisions which will affect businesses and individuals alike. This highway fund law changes the due dates for several types of federal returns.

Partnership income tax returns

The new federal due date for partnership income tax returns is March 15. For partnerships with fiscal year ends, the due date is the 15th day of the third month after the close of the tax year. Under prior law, partnership returns were due by April 15, or the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of the tax year.

The new law also allows a maximum of six months extension for partnership returns, creating a September 15 extended deadline for calendar year partnerships. The prior law allowed a five month extension, also to September 15, so the extended deadline doesn’t change, only the length of the extension.

Corporation income tax returns

C corporations and S corporations will now have different due dates.  The new due date for C corporations to file federal income tax returns is the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of the tax year. This means C corporations with calendar year ends will have an April 15 due date.  Under prior law, C corporations were due on the 15th day of the third month after year end. S corporation due dates will not change, so they will continue to file returns by March 15 each year.

For most returns the new deadlines are effective for taxable years that begin after December 31, 2015.  For C corporations with June 30 year ends, the change will not be effective until taxable years beginning after December 31, 2025.

Extension rules for C corporations have also changed, and the extension period will depend on your corporation’s year end.  The new law allows for an automatic six-month extension for C corporations, effective generally for returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, except in the following situations:

  • C corporations with December 31 year ends will receive a 5 month extension for any year beginning before January 1, 2026.
  • C corporations with June 30 year ends will receive a 7 month extension for any year beginning before January 1, 2026.

Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

The deadline for Form FinCEN 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts(FBAR), changes from June 30 to April 15.  The good news here is that there will now be an extension available for filing Form 114, with a maximum six-month extension until October 15. The prior law did not allow an extension for this form.

Trusts and Estates

Form 1041, Returns for Trusts and Estates will now receive a maximum extension of 5½ months, until September 30 for calendar-year taxpayers.  Under prior law, calendar-year trusts could receive a five-month extension to September 15.

Employee Benefit Plans

Form 5500 for Employee Benefit Plans will now receive a maximum extension of 3½ months, until November 15 for calendar-year plans.  This is an extra month over the previous extension date.

Foreign Trust and Foreign Gift reporting

The deadline for Form 3520, Annual Return to Report Transactions with Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts, changes from June 30 to April 15 for taxpayers with a calendar year end, with a maximum six-month extension ending on October 15.

In addition to the forms referenced above, extensions up to six months may be obtained for other forms, such as:

  • Form 5227, “Split-Interest Trust Information Return” (from the due date),
  • Form 8870, “Information Return for Transfers Associated With Certain Personal Benefit Contracts” (from the due date), and
  • Form 3520-A, “Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner,” for taxpayers that use calendar year ends (until September 15).

See our next post about this topic covering the following areas:

  • Large estates must report fair market values
  • Overstated basis qualifies as understatement of gross income
  • Veterans do not count as employees for ACA purposes
  • Employers have more time to transfer excess pension assets
  • Tax law changes fund transportation spending