The deadline to both file and pay 2019 federal income taxes was extended to July 15, 2020, due to the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension was announced by then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in March 2020.
- The deadline to file and pay 2019 taxes was extended to July 15, 2020.
- Penalties and interest did not accrue between April 15 and July 15.
- Taxpayers could request a further extension to file until Oct. 15, 2020.
- Refunds were not affected by the change.
- States were not required to follow IRS guidelines but most did.
Due Date Delayed to July 15
According to Mnuchin’s post on Twitter, “At @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”
A note to Texas taxpayers: Your deadline for filing your 2020 federal taxes and paying any tax due has been moved to June 15, 2021, due to the snowstorm-related federal disaster declaration. If you don’t live in Texas but were affected by the storm, you may still be eligible for the delayed deadline.
In updated guidance issued April 9, 2020, the IRS said that anyone who still owed 2019 taxes or estimated Q1 or Q2 2020 taxes did not have to pay until July 15, 2020. The new tax filing and payment deadline meant that interest and penalties for late filing or payment would not begin to accrue until July 16, 2020.
Extensions Available to Oct. 15, 2020
Those who needed more time to file beyond the July 15 deadline could request an extension to Oct. 15, 2020, by filing Form 4868. Businesses that needed additional time were required to file Form 7004.
Remember that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. An estimate had to be paid by July 15 to avoid additional interest and penalties.
Tax Refunds Continued As Usual
Early birds still got their rewards. In an earlier statement Mnuchin said, “We don’t want you to lose out on those tax refunds. We want you to make sure you get them. Many people do this electronically, which is easy for them and easy for the IRS.”
The IRS continued to accept and process 2019 tax returns even before the extended deadline, and taxpayers were encouraged to file electronically and use direct deposit to get their refunds as quickly as possible.
Interest and Penalties Did Not Accrue
Under normal circumstances, you must pay any taxes due by April 15 or you will incur penalties and interest. Even a request for an extension to file (Form 4868) doesn’t excuse you from paying without incurring those additional costs.
The effect of the new tax day deadline for 2020 was that interest and penalties did not begin to accrue until July 16, 2020. Remember: The new deadline to file and pay does not constitute tax forgiveness, a form of tax relief available from the IRS. You will eventually have to file and pay.
Various tax relief measures have affected taxpayers in certain regions of the U.S. The IRS maintains a page updating all of its disaster relief measures.
State Income Tax Deadlines
If you live in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming, state income tax is not an issue since your state has none. You only need to comply with federal and, if applicable, local tax deadlines. According to the AICPA and Tax Foundation, states that have either acted or indicated they would follow IRS guidance are listed below. You can contact your state’s tax authority for updates.
Source: AICPA. Tax Foundation As of Apr. 11, 2020