Treasury Extends Filing Deadline to July 15, Matching Payment Deferral

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Mar 23, 2020
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that the government will delay the tax filing deadline to July 15 in order to match the payment deferral announced earlier this week. The deferral announcement on Tuesday, March 17, was greeted with mixed reviews from the CPA community, who said that the measure was not good enough given, among other reasons, how understaffed many firm are at the moment. The AICPA, echoing the sentiments of tax professionals everywhere, called for a corresponding filing delay as well, saying, "it is impossible for every taxpayer and their tax adviser to prepare returns in this environment."

In a notice sent to members on Friday, NYSSCPA Executive Director and CEO Joanne S. Barry said, "We called on Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to also postpone New York state tax deadlines to meet with the federal extension, which we were just notified has been passed. The New York state deadline will mirror the federal deadline of July 15 for all taxpayers and businesses." In addition, a New York State Assembly flyer states, "The deadline for filing your taxes has been moved from April 15 to July 15."

Louis Grassi, CEO of Grassi and Company, hailed the IRS move as "absolutely necessary." He did say, however, that his firm intends to try to get work done as if the deadline were still April 15, "because we want to get all the historical stuff done for last year and spend our time now looking at 2020, how impactful it will be, and what necessary steps need to be taken in order to right-size the ship."

Steven Parzen, a New York City tax practitioner and active NYSSCPA member, also said that this extension would be a great relief, although he also thought that there was still more to be done.

"This recent development of extending the federal tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th is an important breakthrough in assisting the accounting community and all American taxpayers, on the whole," he said. "While the earlier 90-day extension of the tax payment date was a step in the right direction, this move will certainly help to put people, who are already feeling stressed from COVID-19, more at ease. Now, the next step is to make sure that the states and localities follow suit."

The IRS released its official notice on the topic over the weekend. It said that taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004. However, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig still urged people to file as soon as they can. 

"Even with the filing deadline extended, we urge taxpayers who are owed refunds to file as soon as possible and file electronically," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds. Although we are curtailing some operations during this period, the IRS is continuing with mission-critical operations to support the nation, and that includes accepting tax returns and sending refunds. As a federal agency vital to the overall operations of our country, we ask for your personal support, your understanding – and your patience. I'm incredibly proud of our employees as we navigate through numerous different challenges in this very rapidly changing environment."

The IRS has since released a Q&A on some of the more common questions it has received since making the announcement as well.

This article, first published on March 20, has been updated.

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