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Key Tax Dates May 2021

Along with monthly and semiweekly requirements, note quarterly filing, individual tax returns and contributions, and forms pertinent to your church or ministry.

Key Tax Dates May 2021
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Monthly requirements, May 2021

If your church or organization reported withheld taxes of $50,000 or less during the most recent lookback period (for 2021 the lookback period is July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020), then withheld payroll taxes are deposited monthly.

Monthly deposits are due by the 15th day of the following month. Note, however, that if withheld taxes are less than $2,500 at the end of any calendar quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31), the church need not deposit the taxes.

Instead, it can pay the total withheld taxes directly to the IRS with its quarterly Form 941. Withheld taxes include federal income taxes withheld from employee wages, the employee’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65 percent of wages), and the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes (an additional 7.65 percent of employee wages).

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Semiweekly requirements, May 2021

If your church or organization reported withheld taxes of more than $50,000 during the most recent lookback period (for 2021 the lookback period is July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020), then the withheld payroll taxes are deposited semiweekly.

This means that for paydays falling on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, the payroll taxes must be deposited on or by the following Wednesday. For all other paydays, the payroll taxes must be deposited on the Friday following the payday.

Note further that large employers having withheld taxes of $100,000 or more at the end of any day must deposit the taxes by the next banking day. The deposit days are based on the timing of the employer’s payroll. Withheld taxes include federal income taxes withheld from employee wages, the employee’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65 percent of wages), and the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes (an additional 7.65 percent of employee wages).

May 10, 2021: Employer’s quarterly federal tax return—Form 941

Churches having nonminister employees (or one or more ministers who report their federal income taxes as employees and who have elected voluntary withholding) may file their employer’s quarterly federal tax return (Form 941) by this date instead of April 30 if all taxes for the first calendar quarter have been deposited in full and on time.

May 17, 2021: Tax returns, individual contributions, and various forms

Individual tax returns—Form 1040

Federal income tax and self-employment tax returns by individuals for calendar year 2020 are due by this date. The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income tax returns (including tax on self-employment income), not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia.

State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agency for details.

Individual contributions

In extending the deadline to file Form 1040 returns to May 17, the IRS is automatically postponing to the same date the time for individuals to make 2020 contributions to their individual retirement arrangements (IRAs and Roth IRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs), and Coverdell education savings accounts (Coverdell ESAs).

This postponement also automatically postpones to May 17, 2021, the time for reporting and payment of the 10 percent additional tax on amounts includible in gross income from 2020 distributions from IRAs or workplace-based retirement plans.

Information returns—Form 990

An annual information return (Form 990) for tax-exempt organizations is due by this date for 2020. Form 990 summarizes revenue, expenses, and services rendered. Organizations exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code must report additional information on Schedule A.

Note. Churches, conventions and associations of churches, “integrated auxiliaries” of churches, and church-affiliated elementary and secondary schools are among the organizations that are exempt from this reporting requirement. Organizations not exempt from this reporting requirement must file the Form 990 if they normally have annual gross receipts of $50,000 or more.

Unrelated business income tax return—Form 990-T

An unrelated business income tax return (Form 990-T) must be filed by this date by churches and any other organization exempt from federal income tax that had gross income from an unrelated trade or business of $1,000 or more in 2020.

Certificate of racial nondiscrimination—Form 5578

Annual certification (for calendar year 2020) of racial nondiscrimination by a private school exempt from federal income tax (Form 5578) must be filed by this date by schools that operate on a calendar-year basis.

Fiscal year schools must file the form by the 15th day of the fifth month following the end of their fiscal year. This form must be filed by preschools, primary and secondary schools, and colleges, whether operated as a separate legal entity or by a church.

If an organization is required to file Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax), or Form 990-EZ (Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax), the certification must be made on Schedule E (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Schools, rather than on this form.

Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

Note: If a date listed for filing a return or making a tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday (either national or statewide in a state where the return is required to be filed), the return or tax payment is due on the following business day.

Note: You must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal employment tax deposits. This is generally done using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury. If you don't wish to use EFTPS, you can arrange for your tax professional, financial institution, or payroll service to make deposits on your behalf. Failure to make a timely deposit may subject you to a 10-percent penalty.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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Posted:
  • April 27, 2021

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