How Do I File and Pay My Business Income Taxes?

Papers, a check book and check written by a small business owner for taxes laying on a desk.
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Your business income tax return has been prepared, and it's all ready for the final steps: filing your return and paying your taxes. Filing and paying are separate processes, but in some cases you can combine them. 

Before You File and Pay

You've finished your business tax return, and you're ready to send it in and pay your taxes. But first, there are a couple of things you should know.

Keep an eye on the due date. We all know that taxes are usually due on April 15, but what if that day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday? IRS due dates can change a little every year because of holidays and weekends. Check the due dates for the tax return you're filing for the current tax year. 

Make sure the tax payment and the return get there on time. Find out when the IRS considers a tax return or payment to have been received, then check the status of yours.

Do an error check to make sure you haven't missed anything that will get your return sent back by the IRS. 

Make sure you're fully aware of the pros and cons and your payment responsibilities if you decide to file an extension for submitting your business tax returns.

You have an automatic extension for filing and paying your 2020 taxes if your business is in Texas, Oklahoma, or another area where FEMA has issued a disaster declaration due to winter storms in 2021. The IRS has extended the filing and payment deadlines for businesses in these affected areas from March 15 and April 15, 2021, to June 15, 2021. Individuals in other states get an automatic extension until May 17, 2021, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but this only affects pass-through business types that file on their owners' personal tax returns.

Business Income Tax Filing Methods

Business Combined with Personal Returns

Here are some options if you file your business income tax on Schedule C along with your personal tax return, or if you're filing a Schedule K-1 from your partnership or S corporation distributions:

  • The most common way to file online is to use e-file, which is available from tax software programs, or your tax preparer can e-file for you. 
  • You can also file a paper return, with or without payment. Where and how you file your paper return depends on your location and whether you're paying and filing together. 

Business Separate from Personal Returns

These are your options if you're filing a tax return for a partnership, corporation, or S corporation:

  • You can e-file using one of the options available from the IRS, depending on the type of business tax return you're filing. 
  • Your tax preparer can e-file for you, or you can use business tax return software to prepare and file your return. 

Options for Paying Business Taxes Online

Using a Credit or Debit Card

You can pay by credit or debit card through one of the service providers listed by the IRS. They charge a fee for transmitting tax payments. These providers are:

  • PayUSAtax at 1-844-729-8298 or visit the PayUSAtax website
  • Pay1040 at 1-888-729-1040 or visit the Pay1040 website
  • ACI Payments, Inc at 1-800-272-9829 or visit the ACI Payments website

Payments may be transmitted by credit or debit card for Form 1040 (including your Schedule C for your self-employed income), and you may also transmit payments in this manner when you file an application for extension on Form 4868.

The credit or debit card payment option is not applicable to payments for partnership tax returns on Form 1065, corporate tax returns on Form 1120, or S-corporation tax returns on Form 1120-S.

Using the IRS Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

You can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to pay all federal tax payments. You will first need to enroll in the system.

Using Electronic Funds Transfer

You can pay your business taxes through electronic funds transfer in one of two ways:

  • Through your tax preparer
  • By using tax preparation software such as H&R Block or TurboTax

Check the free filing options for filing with software.

Mailing Your Tax Payment

You can mail your tax payment and return directly to the IRS, and you can use this option if you're paying at the same time as you're filing for an extension on Form 4868 or Form 7004.

You must complete and attach the payment voucher, Form 1040-V, to your payment if you're filing your taxes with your personal Form 1040.

Be sure to address your payment to the U.S. Treasury (or United States Treasury) if you're mailing it in, and include the business Tax ID Number or your Social Security Number on the check.

Article Sources

  1. Internal Revenue Service. "Topic No. 301 When, How, and Where to File." Accessed March 26, 2021.

  2. Internal Revenue Service. "Victims of Texas Winter Storms Get Deadline Extension and Other Tax Relief." Accessed March 26, 2021.

  3. IRS. “Tax Day for Individuals Extended to May 17: Treasury,IRS Extend Filing and Payment Deadlines.” Accessed March 26, 2021.

  4. Internal Revenue Service. "Extension of Time To File Your Tax Return." Accessed March 26, 2021.

  5. Internal Revenue Service. "Pay Your Taxes by Debit or Credit Card." Accessed March 26, 2021.

  6. Internal Revenue Service. "Pay by Check or Money Order." Accessed March 26, 2021.