COVID-19 Relief from IRS—Extension of Federal Tax Deadlines Formalized

By Diana Myers, Co-Author

Last updated 4.21.2020

On March 20, 2020, Secretary Mnuchin announced that Tax Day will be moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. In response to this announcement, the IRS has issued Notice 2020-18 formalizing the automatic postponement of the due date for both filing federal income tax returns and making federal income tax payments to July 15, 2020. In Notice 2020-23, issued April 9, 2020, the IRS provided a welcome and automatic postponement for almost all deadlines for filings and payments falling on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020. Individuals, trusts, estates, corporations, partnerships, S Corporations, and other non-corporate tax filers now qualify for the extra time. Interest, penalties, and additions to tax will be disregarded until July 15 but will start accruing after that date. Taxpayers wishing to file their returns by October 15, 2020 must file a request for extension by July 15.

The IRS has established its own resource page and other information to assist taxpayers affected by COVID-19, which can be viewed here.

C Corporations

All corporate income tax filings and payments otherwise due from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020 are now due July 15, 2020. This includes estimated payments, any elections that are made or required to be made on the tax return, Section 965 installment payments, and BEAT payments and filings. This also includes information returns that accompany federal income tax filings, such as the Form 5471 and Form 8858.

Partnerships & S Corporations

Unfortunately, the relief provided by the IRS does not apply to tax partnerships and S Corporations filings and payments due before April 1, 2020. Partnerships and S Corporations that were not able to file or make payment by the March 16 or other due date may still seek penalty and interest relief based on their specific facts and circumstances. However, Notice 2020-23 extends the July 15 deadline postponement to partnership and S Corporation filings due between on or after April 15, 2020 and before July 15, 2020.

In addition, to provide additional flexibility for partnerships to take advantage of the CARES Act tax relief and to adjust other items, Rev. Proc. 2020-23, issued on April 8, 2020, permits a partnership to file an amended Form 1065 for taxable years beginning in 2018 and 2019 instead of an AAR, as required by the partnership audit rules.

Individuals, Trusts & Estates, and Nonprofits

All individual, trust, and nonprofit income tax filings and payments, including estimated payments, otherwise due from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020 are now due July 15, 2020. Notice 2020-23 augments and clarifies that the extension to July 15 applies to: gift tax returns and payments, generation-skipping transfer tax filings and payments; estate tax returns and payments, including deferred estate tax payments and annual recertification filings under Section 6166 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Tax Enforcement, Refund Claims and Court Petitions

Notice 2020-23 also extends the certain filing deadlines until July 15, 2020 provided the deadline was on or after April 1 and before July 15, 2020. The filing extensions includes: (1) filing a petition with the U.S. Tax Court; (2) filing a petition for review of a Tax Court decision; (3) filing a claim for refund or credit; and (4) bringing a suit on any claim for credit or refund.

The Notice also provides extra time for the IRS to perform certain time-sensitive actions. For taxpayers undergoing an examination or who are in appeals, Notice 2020-23 grants a 30-day postponement for the IRS to initiate action provided the last date of performance was between April 6 and before July 15, 2020. This includes issuing notices of assessment, making a notice of demand for payments, collecting or making a levy for any tax liability, and bringing a suit regarding any tax liability.

We encourage you to visit Holland & Hart’s Coronavirus Resource Site, a consolidated informational resource offering practical guidelines and proactive solutions to help companies protect their business interests and their workforce. The dynamic Resource Site is regularly refreshed with new topics and updates as the COVID-19 outbreak and the legal and regulatory responses continue to evolve. Sign up to receive updates and for upcoming webinars.


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