Death and Taxes Change for Tennessee Businesses

Death and Taxes Change for Tennessee Businesses

The Tax Man has changed the rules again - this time for filing and payment deadlines for Tennessee Business Taxes.

Taxes always make us think about Johnny Cash's classic song "After Taxes:"

You can dream about vacation in the sun
You can dream but you can't never have you one
'Cause by the time your good old Uncle Sam gets done 
You've got just enough for gas

Our liquor team tax expert, Rob Pinson, sounded the alarm on this change.

Starting January 1, 2014, businesses must report and pay business taxes based on their fiscal year.  For example, if you operate on a calendar year (January 1 to December 31), you will now start reporting and paying your business taxes for the calendar year.

Previously, reporting periods were based on business classes. Class 2 - Restaurants - had to report their business taxes from April 1 to March 31.  Class 3 - Hotels - had to report their business taxes from July 1 to June 30.

Going forward all Classes will report on their fiscal year, which for most small businesses will be January 1 to December 31. This will be the same reporting period for Tennessee Franchise and Excise taxes.

To complicate the change, the new law mandates short or long tax return periods. Depending on your fiscal year, you will be required to file a transition tax return which may be six months up to seventeen months. This transition tax year will get your company on track to start filing fiscal year tax returns starting in 2014. For a calendar year restaurant, the transitional tax return will cover April 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 and will be due April 15, 2014. The next tax return filed by the restaurant will cover January 1 to December 31 of 2014 and be due April 15, 2015. Click on the link for charts to assist in determining this transitional year.

The new law also mandates electronic filing of business tax returns and electronic payment of taxes. This is another step in the Department of Revenue's shift towards online reporting and paying for all taxes. It is recommended all business register for business taxes online to avoid delays.

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