IRS Provides Some Relief from Tax Payment (But Not Filing) Deadlines Due to COVID-19

Overview


On March 13, President Trump issued an emergency declaration that directed Secretary Mnuchin to provide appropriate relief from tax payment deadlines to Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We outline the specifics.

In Depth


On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued an emergency declaration that directed Secretary Mnuchin to provide appropriate relief from tax payment deadlines to Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, in response to this direction, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17. The Notice declares that all taxpayers have been affected by the emergency and gives all taxpayers an extension of time until July 15, 2020, to make certain income tax payments that would otherwise have been due on April 15, 2020.

Here are the specifics:

  1. Individuals may defer payment of up to $1 million worth of income taxes that would have been due on April 15, including estimated income taxes on 2020 income and income taxes due on April 15 with respect to 2019 income. The notice is ambiguous as to whether married individuals share a single $1 million deferral amount, particularly if they file joint returns.
  2. Corporations may defer payment of up to $10 million worth of income taxes that would otherwise be due on April 15.
  3. The extension does not apply to other federal tax payments due on April 15 such as federal gift taxes.
  4. The extension does not apply to the filing of tax returns or information returns. The due date for filing individual tax returns for 2019 remains April 15, 2020. As in other years, taxpayers who want an extension of time for filing their tax returns should file the appropriate form for obtaining extensions no later than April 15, 2020.

For more information about the tax impact of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, see our prior On the Subject.