For busy HR and payroll professionals, every month of the year brings new deliverables, and there are specific payroll and tax filing deadlines you just can’t miss.
Follow our annual HR and compliance calendar to keep track of the important dates and deadlines of 2021. Here’s what you should mark on your calendar for the coming year:
2021 HR and Payroll Compliance Calendar: Key Dates for HR and Payroll Managers
- Friday, January 1: New Year’s Day
- Monday, January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Important Dates and Deadlines in January 2021
- Friday, January 1: Coverage begins for 2021 health insurance plans for individuals through the Marketplace.
- Monday, January 25: Tax season begins. (Note: At the time of publishing, the IRS has only released a draft of the 2021 tax season, so the official dates for tax season are subject to change.)
- Monday, February 15: President’s Day
Important Dates and Deadlines in February 2021
- Monday, February 1:
- Deadline to file Form 941 reporting on Q4 of 2020.
- Deadline for employers to furnish Form W-2 to employees and Form 1099 to contractors, vendors, etc., for work performed in 2020.
- Deadline to file Forms W-2, W-3, 8027, 1099, and 1096 to the appropriate agencies (electronic and paper).
- Deadline to deposit the Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) if owed.
- Deadline to file Form 945 to report any non-payroll federal income tax withheld. If you deposited all taxes when due, you may file by February 10.
- OSHA 300 Log (Forms 300 and 300A) must be posted in all non-exempt workplaces through April 30.
- Tuesday, February 16:
- Forms W-4 claiming exemption from withholding for the previous year expire.
- Request a new Form W-4 from exempt employees (any employee who claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year).
- Friday, March 5: National Employee Appreciation Day
Important Dates and Deadlines in March 2021
- Monday, March 1:
- Deadline to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C if filing by paper. (Get Form 1094-C instructions here and Form 1095-C instructions here.)
- Deadline to file Forms 1099 and 1096 by paper.
- Deadline for electronically reporting OSHA Form 300A data for calendar year 2020.
- Deadline to file Form 8027 if filing on paper.
- Tuesday, March 2:
- Deadline to furnish employees with Form 1095-C. (Employees: Get information on what to do with your 1095-C.)
- Monday, March 15: S Corp and partnership tax returns due.
- Wednesday, March 31:
- End of Q1, calendar year.
- Deadline to file 1094-C/1095-C schedules for 2019 if filing electronically (get Form 1094-C instructions here and Form 1095-C instructions here).
- Deadline to file Forms 1099, 1096, and 8027 electronically.
- March TBD: Adjusted EEO-1 Reporting and Filing Deadline for 2019 and 2020. (Note: EEOC opening dates have been pushed back due to COVID-19.)
Important Dates and Deadlines in April 2021
- Thursday, April 15: Deadline to submit individual tax returns
- Friday, April 30: Deadline to file Form 941, employer's quarterly tax return for Q1 2021
- Monday, May 31: Memorial Day
Important Dates in May 2021
Important Dates and Deadlines in June 2021
- Wednesday, June 30: End of Q2, calendar year
- Monday, July 5: Independence Day (observed)
Important Dates and Deadlines in August 2021
- Monday, August 2:
- Deadline to file Form 941, employer's quarterly tax return for Q2 2021
- Deadline to file Form 5500 or 5500-EZ for calendar year 2020
- Monday, September 6: Labor Day
Important Dates and Deadlines in September 2021
- Monday, September 6 – Friday, September 10: National Payroll Week
- Thursday, September 30: End of Q3, calendar year
- Monday, October 11: Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day
Important Dates and Deadlines in October 2021
- Friday, October 15: Individual tax return deadline for those who filed for an extension
- Thursday, November 11: Veterans Day
- Thursday, November 25: Thanksgiving Day
Important Dates and Deadlines in November 2021
- Monday, November 1:
- Deadline to file Form 941, employer's quarterly tax return for Q3 2021.
- Enrollment begins for 2022 health insurance plans for individuals through the Marketplace.
- During the month of November: Encourage employees to fill out a new Form W-4 or Form W-4 (SP) for 2022 if they experienced any personal or financial changes. Per the IRS, examples of changes that could require a new Form W-4 include changing the filing status on a tax return, changing the number of jobs worked during the year, and other income, deductions, or credits. The 2022 revision of Form W-4 will be available at www.IRS.gov/FormW4 by mid-December 2021.
- Friday, December 24: Christmas Day (observed)
- Friday, December 31: New Year’s Day (observed)
Important Dates and Deadlines in December 2021
- Wednesday, December 15: Open enrollment period ends for 2022 health insurance plans for individuals through the Marketplace.
Now that you have the important dates on your calendar, you know what’s coming each month. However, payroll and HR compliance leave very little wiggle room for error, which is why it’s so critical to select the payroll provider who can help you save time and meet important deadlines.
By selecting a provider that offers an integrated payroll solution and tools for total workforce management, you can sync payroll with other employee data for better reporting and fewer surprises. For additional step-by-step payroll management guidance, read Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Time on Payroll.
Topics: Human Resources
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