Additional guidance on the tax deadline and extension

The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Treasury provided some additional guidance (Notice 2020-23) on April 9, 2020 to further help taxpayers amidst the COVID-19 crisis.  Previously, the Internal Revenue Service had announced that the tax deadline for some returns and payments had moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

Some of the highlights of Notice 2020-23 include:

  • The Notice clarified that no late filing penalty, late payment penalty, or interest would apply to payments made and returns filed by July 15, 2020.

  • Second quarter estimated tax payments were previously due on June 15, 2020.  This would have made the due date before the extended first quarter due date (July 15, 2020).  This Notice states that any individual or corporation that has estimated payments due on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020 can now wait until July 15, 2020 to make those payments without penalty.  This means that the first and second quarter estimated payments are now both due on July 15, 2020.

  • If individual taxpayers cannot file their tax return by July 15, 2020, they can request an extension to file by October 15, 2020.  The extension only extends the tax return due date, not the payment due date (July 15, 2020).  If taxpayers pay after July 15, 2020, interest and penalties will apply to any balance owed.

  • The Notice expands the July 15, 2020 filing and payment deadline to additional types of entity filings including, but not limited to, C-corporations (Form 1120), S-corporations (Form 1120-S), Partnerships (Form 1065), and Estates and Trusts (Form 1041).

  • The Notice specifies that the relief is automatic.  Taxpayers don’t have to call the IRS, write a letter, or file any special extension forms.