(Updated March 27, 2020)
As COVID-19 continues to impact the United States, the federal government is taking action to ease the burden on taxpayers. Most recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the due date for filing and making tax payments has been pushed to July 15, 2020.
The relief raised a number of questions. To help you sort it out, here are a few questions and answers.
When is the tax filing deadline for individual federal income tax returns? The tax filing deadline has officially been extended to July 15, 2020.
Do I need to file for an extension if I can’t file my tax return by April 15, 2020? No, the filing deadline extension is automatically pushed to July 15, 2020; there’s no need to file for an extension.
What if I am expecting a refund for the 2019 tax year? Refunds are not affected. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible.
What if I’m owed a refund for 2016? Is the deadline extended for filing that return? Yes (note this has changed from the IRS’ original position).
When is my tax payment due? Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns are also automatically extended until July 15, 2020. This payment relief applies to all individual returns.
What about self-employment tax? The relief applies to self-employed individuals.
What about estimated tax payments? The relief also includes estimated tax payments for the tax year 2020 that would have been due on April 15, 2020. Please note that there is a second estimated tax payment due during the deferral – the one due June 15, 2020. Originally, according to the IRS, second-quarter 2020 estimated income tax payments were still due on June 15, 2020: that is no longer the case.
What about trusts and estates? Yes, the relief applies to payments due from trust and estates (forms 1041). On March 27, 2020, the IRS reversed course on filing and payment due dates for gift taxes (form 709): the April 15, 2020 deadline is postponed to July 15, 2020 with associated interest, additions to tax, and penalties for late filing or late payment suspended until July 15, 2020.
What about corporations? Payment deadlines are automatically extended for C corporations, too, until July 15, 2020.
What about partnerships and S corporations? With respect to returns due on March 16, 2020, which include Form 1065, Form 1065-B, Form 1066, and Form 1120-S for calendar year taxpayers, the filing of those returns has not been postponed.
I’m a numbers person. Form numbers, please? The filing and payment of taxes associated with the following forms are specifically extended:
- Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, 1040-NR-EZ, 1040-PR, 1040-SS
- Form 1041, 1041-N, 1041-QFT
- Form 1120, 1120-C, 1120-F, 1120-FSC, 1120-H, 1120-L, 1120-ND, 1120-PC, 1120-POL, 1120-REIT, 1120-RIC, 1120-SF
- Form 8960
- Form 8991
- Form 990-T (only if originally due on April 15).
Wait, I thought there were limits on the amounts that you could defer? Initially, there were limits but those have been eliminated with the most recent guidance (dated March 20, 2020).
So how does this work? You will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by July 15, 2020. Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020.
Do I have to do anything to qualify for the relief? No, IRS will automatically provide the relief. You don’t need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to be eligible.
What about state tax or other federal tax payments? The relief outlined in the Notice only applies to federal income tax payments which would have been due on April 15, 2020. It does not apply to state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax, like excise taxes. Some states and local tax authorities are also offering tax relief.
I’m almost scared to ask, but does this also push off time to contribute to my IRA? Yes. The IRS has indicated that because the due date for filing federal income tax returns has been postponed to July 15, the deadline for making contributions to your IRA for 2019 is also extended to July 15, 2020.
What about contributions to my HSA or Archer MSA? Also extended to July 15, 2020.
Not that I don’t trust you, but where can I find this in writing from the IRS? You can read the official IRS guidance here (downloads as a PDF). The IRS has also addressed some additional questions (like the IRA question) on its website.