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Franchise Tax Filing

February 25, 2019

  • James Leavelle
    Senior Certified Business Advisor
For most businesses, their fiscal year ended December 31st.  Now the rush is on for them to get W-2s and 1099s out to their employees and vendors! 

Next, they will begin to focus on their own tax filings.  It seems like it never stops!  Before they know it…they will have another quarter of payroll taxes and sales taxes due.

This time of year is extremely busy for CPA’s and other tax preparers.  Many of you have been saving up receipts, invoices, deposit slips, and bank statements all year.  You have them in a box and are about to deliver them to your tax professional.  Using a knowledgeable tax professional can save you money, and it can make sure you file all the right documentation…with all the right agencies!

One often overlooked filing is the Texas Franchise Tax filing with the State Comptroller’s office.  It is due every May 15th.  Limited Liability Companies and corporations are required to file.  On a positive note, if your gross revenue for your business is less than $1 million, then you can claim an exemption to the tax.  But, you must file to claim the exemption!  The comptroller’s office makes it very easy!  You can file online just like you do with your sales tax.

What happens if you forget?  Somewhere around July, the State Comptroller’s office will send you a letter telling you that you failed to file by May 15th as required.  But never fear, they have calculated that tax for you!  And since you didn’t file on time, they include the interest that has accrued, and of course, the late filing penalty.  You now owe $181!  Don’t worry…you can still claim the exemption!  Just go to the comptroller’s website and complete the filing and claim the exemption.  You will see that now you do not owe a tax or any interest, but you still owe approximately $50 as a late filing penalty.

As you prepare to finalize your 2018 fiscal year by filing your tax return, don’t forget to file your franchise tax form with the State Comptroller’s office by May 15th.  And if you use a tax professional, remember, this is a stressful time of year for them!  Take them a box of candy or bake them a cake.  It may be their only chance at something sweet for several weeks!

“Business Tips” was written by James Leavelle, Business Development Specialist and Senior Certified Business Advisor of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center.  For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact him at