March 24, 2020
On Friday, March 20, 2020, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the annual federal income tax filing deadline would be moved back 90 days, from April 15th to July 15th, to provide taxpayers with additional time to prepare and file federal returns while dealing with the unprecedented financial impact caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. The move followed the March 18th announcement that the deadline for paying 2019 taxes would be moved back to July 15th (initially the filing deadline was not moved, only the payment due date). The addition of the return filing requirement, along with the payment obligation, is welcome news to many taxpayers preoccupied with the virus and the country’s efforts to combat its spread, and is intended to provide additional cash to taxpayers during, what is hoped will be, the time of greatest stress on the U.S. economy.
On March 20, the IRS released Notice 2020-18 (“Notice 20-18”), providing guidance on the federal filing and payment extensions announced by the Treasury Department during the week of March 16 through March 20. Notice 20-18 superseded Notice 2020-17, issued just two days earlier, which provided guidance about the initial extension limited to the payment of tax due, granted in response to the President’s emergency declaration on March 13, 2020 under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Notice 20-18 provides an extension to any individual, trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation with a federal income tax payment or tax return due April 15, 2020. The relief is automatic and does not require that the taxpayer file a request for an extension and will not result in the assessment of additional penalties or interest through the new July 15th due date. While there is no limit on the amount of payment that may be postponed, the relief is limited to federal income tax attributable to a taxpayer’s 2019 tax year (including tax on self-employment earnings) and federal estimated income tax payments due on April 15th for a taxpayer’s 2020 tax year.
Indiana Follows Suit
On March 19, 2020, Governor Holcomb announced that the Indiana Department of Revenue likewise, in support of Hoosiers during the COVID-19 health crisis, extended certain filing and payment deadlines to align with the Internal Revenue Service. Individual Indiana tax returns and payments, along with estimated payments originally due by April 15, 2020, are now due on or before July 15, 2020. Corporate Indiana tax returns and payments, along with estimated payments originally due by April 15th or April 20th are now due on or before July 15, 2020. Those payments originally due on May 15, 2020, are now due on August 17, 2020. All other Indiana tax return filings and payment due dates remain unchanged at this time.