[Updated: April 2, 2020]

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the regular lives of U.S. citizens and New Yorkers, it also has a significant impact on the 2020 tax season as well. Both the U.S. federal government and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance are making important adjustments to ease taxpayers’ burden.

Federal Income Tax Returns – The April 15th filing date is extended to July 15th

Due to the President’s emergency declaration issued on March 13, 2020, the Secretary of the Treasury was given the authority to postpone the time for performing certain acts under the tax code. On March 21, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) issued Notice 2020-18, which changed the tax payment and filing deadline for taxpayers who have an April 15th income tax return date normally and extended it to July 15th. This change is for individuals, corporations, estates, trusts, partnerships and any income taxpayer with an April 15th filing date.

The I.R.S. supplemented and updated the tax payment and filing deadline for gift and generation-skipping transfer tax returns (Form 709) in Notice 2020-20 on March 27, 2020. Now anyone who needs to file this return also has a filing and payment date of July 15th.

However, it does not change the deadline for income tax filers with a fiscal year that generates an income return due date other than April 15th, or informational return filers. It also does not change the filing time for an estate tax return. For answers to common questions about the change in filing and payment of income tax returns and gift tax returns, taxpayers can go to this page on the I.R.S. website.

Income taxpayers can still request an extension of time to file as they normally would and it does not change the rules for the automatic two-month extension granted to U.S. citizens and resident aliens (“green card” holders) who reside outside the U.S.

The I.R.S. still encourages taxpayers to file as early as possible, and at the moment, still expects to issue refunds within 21-days after a taxpayer files their electronic income tax return. Taxpayers can check the status of their refunds here.

New York Has Extended Its Income Tax Return Deadline and an Abatement for Delayed Quarterly Sales and Use Tax Filings

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has also adopted an extension to its income tax filing and payment deadline from April 15th to July 15th without the need for taxpayers to request this extension.

New York State also has provided an abatement on interest and penalties for quarterly sales and use tax filings, which were due March 20, 2020. This relief is not granted to vendors who are required to file returns on a monthly basis, participants in the New York PrompTax program for sales and use tax or prepaid sales tax on fuel.

Eligible quarterly sales and use tax taxpayers effected by this abatement can request relief on the New York Department of Taxation and Finance’s website here. These taxpayers will also be able to request this relief by following the instructions on any penalty notice they may receive at a later date.

By: Martha L. Voelz, Esq.
Of Counsel, the Ciric Law Firm, PLLC

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