Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted today that the April 15, 2020 tax return filing deadline will be postponed until July 15, giving all taxpayers an additional three months to file their returns and make tax payments without interest or penalties. We are waiting for clarity on how today’s statement will modify guidance previously released and will provide additional details as they are made available.
Mnuchin’s announcement today follows guidance that came out earlier this week. On Wednesday the IRS released Notice 2020-17 clarifying Mnuchin’s previous statement on Tuesday that the Treasury Department and the IRS were providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Notice 2020-17, federal income tax payment deadlines with a due date of April 15, 2020, including estimated taxes for tax year 2020 with a due date of April 15, 2020, were automatically extended until July 15, 2020. However, the notice did not extend the April 15 filing deadline or address estimated payments due June 15, and included caps on the amounts of tax payments that could be postponed until July 15. Notice 2020-17 received immediate criticism from the tax community for not extending the deadline for filing tax returns and creating avoidable complexity.
The relief being provided by Treasury and the IRS only applies to federal income tax returns and payments otherwise due April 15, 2020, and not to state tax payments. However, some states have also announced filing extensions or indicated they will follow IRS relief, and we anticipate that there will be more guidance from individual states now that the IRS has acted.
We understand that this is a challenging time for all of us, and the postponement of the April 15 deadline is certainly welcome news. We are still encouraging our clients to proceed as usual, to the extent possible, with providing their information to enable us to have their tax returns ready to be filed or prepare their extension calculations as appropriate.
We will continue to monitor the rapidly progressing events and provide tax filing updates as necessary. If you have concerns or questions regarding your own situation, please contact your Bennett Thrasher tax advisor.