I have 3 questions:
1. April 17 vs. 18 filing date & time. Because of a family emergency over the week prior to the April 17 deadline, I did not have time to work out the kinks in my taxes for my sole proprietorship business. So, I filed an extension with one of the IRS's authorized providers at 10:15 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 17 using their online website. However, when I received the receipt from the online provider, it stated that they (the provider) would use 12:15 a.m. on April 18 as the date reported to the IRS. Thus, my extension would be late filing, would it not? Nowhere in the providers website/documentation was it mentioned that Central Time would be used instead of the time at which I am located.
Is this going to get me into trouble? I made an online payment for my business taxes.
2. EIN vs. SSN. I used my SSN, because the provider's website asked for it. But, I am thinking of getting an EIN. If I get an EIN and use it for my taxes, for 2017, how does the IRS connect the online payments that I already made under my SSN with my new EIN?
3. business start date. If I do get an EIN for my business, I assume that I use the date of the original business? Also, what I if have more than one business, do I get separate and EINs for each with a different business name for each? Thanks. And, what about taxes. Does the EIN I get now be used for last year's taxes (which I still need to file), or does the EIN only apply to NEXT year's (2018) taxes?
Question #1: You're fine. See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-provides-additional-day-to-file-and-pay-for-taxpayers-through-wedne...
Question #2: Only the IRS issues EINs. So only the recipient of that EIN and the IRS know what SSN that EIN is tied to. This provides a greater level of security to tax filers. When reporting business income/expenses even on the SCH C, you should always use your EIN and not your SSN. When your business issues tax reporting documents, such a 1099-MISCs to vendors, contractors or suppliers, or W-2's to employees, the last thing you want to put on those documents that you are providing as required by law to people you may have never met, is your SSN.
Now not to say the person you provide it to would do anything dishonest with it. But if "they" lose it or it falls into the wrong hands, someone with your SSN can ruin your entire life. Whereas if all they have is your EIN, the worst they can affect if your business, and that's pretty much it.
I've been self-employed for over 13 years now, and under no circumstances will I ever give anyone associated with my business my SSN. They get the EIN, or I take my business and business needs elsewhere. Further discussion on that (with a vendor or client) will not be entertained.
Question #3: If you have more than one business (meaning you file either a separate SCH C or other tax return for each business) then each one needs it's own EIN. Your business start date is the first day you were officially "open for business". So if you get the EIN now, you can use it to file your 2017 tax return. (and you should use the EIN and not the SSN unless you have already issued any tax reporting documents to vendors/clients with your SSN on it)
It takes about 10 minutes to get an EIN for each business at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-n... Once you get the number, protect it the same as your do your SSN and do not lose it. Also, make sure you annotate things so that you know with absolute certainty what EIN belongs to which business. Getting them backwards in a later tax year can and will cause nightmares from which you will never awaken.