Federal and State Tax Payment Deadline Extensions Due to Coronavirus

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Updated March 20th. The US Treasury has announced taxpayer relief for federal tax in response to COVID-19. Here is the Treasury press release, official IRS notice, and a CNBC article. On March 20th, the filing deadline was also changed. Below is my brief summary for most taxpayers.

  • The standard deadline for filing your individual federal income tax returns is now July 15, 2020. This is a change as of 3/20.
  • If you’re getting a tax refund, you should try to file right away. Might as well get your money sooner, as this relief won’t help you if you don’t owe money.
  • The deadline for tax payments if you owe money has been postponed by 90 days. If you owe money on your return, instead of April 15, 2020, you now have until July 15th, 2020. Penalties and interest that you would otherwise have accrued will be waived. This applies on up to $1 million in tax owed.
  • Filing a tax extension can still help. If you can’t make the filing deadline of 4/15, you should file for a free automatic online extension by 4/15. This extends your tax filing deadline all the way to October 15th. Late filing penalties are quite significant.
  • 2020 1st quarter estimated tax payments due April 15th are also now due July 15th. This can be confusing as the 2nd quarter deadline is still currently June 15th. This may help many self-employed workers whose income is hard to predict right now.

Check your state tax situation as well. The American Institute of CPAs has a handy list of state-specific coronavirus taxpayer relief.

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Comments

  1. We assume contributions to last year’s IRAs must still be made by April 15.

  2. Fred Smyth says

    According to the WSJ, it still is unclear who can postpone quarterly payments

    “The IRS hasn’t released details about what taxpayers must do to defer their payments or explained whether they can also defer estimated-tax payments for the first quarter of 2020, which are also due on April 15.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-postpones-april-15-tax-deadline-for-90-days-for-millions-of-americans-11584463242

    • The WSJ article is from 3/17 and the IRS notice provides the following clarification:

      The relief provided in this section III is available solely with respect to Federal income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020, in respect of an Affected Taxpayer’s 2019 taxable year, and Federal estimated income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020, for an Affected Taxpayer’s 2020 taxable year.

  3. If my 2Q estimate is due June 15 and my 1Q estimate is due July 15, it seems what I should do is not pay anything on my 2Q estimate and pay my 1Q estimate large enough to cover what I would owe for 2Q.
    Presumably there will be a clarification from the IRS on whether this works or not.

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