On March 21, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in IR -2020-58 that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. The IRS also announced that taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.
On April 9, 2020, the IRS announced in Notice 2020-23 that additional key tax deadlines for individuals and businesses are extended. This notice expands the relief in IR-2020-58 to additional returns, tax payments and other actions. As a result, the extensions generally now apply to all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers now qualify for the extra time. This means that anyone, including Americans who live and work abroad, can now wait until July 15 to file their 2019 federal income tax return and pay any tax due.
Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15, 2020 deadline can request an extension to October 15, 2020, by filing Form 4868. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004. An extension to file until October 15, 2020 is not an extension to pay any taxes owed. Taxpayers filing for extensions of time to file should estimate their tax liability and pay any taxes owed by July 15, 2020 to avoid interest and penalties.
Notice 2020-23 also extends relief to estimated tax payments due June 15, 2020. This means that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, can wait until July 15 to make that payment, without penalty.
For those with unfiled 2016 tax returns, the normal deadline to claim a refund has also been extended to July 15, 2020. The law provides a 3 opportunity to claim a refund. If taxpayers do not file a return within 3 years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. The law requires taxpayers to file, so that the return is postmarked by the July 15, 2020, date.
Even with the filing deadline extended, the IRS is urging taxpayers who are owed refunds to file as soon as possible and file electronically. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get you’re your refund. The IRS is currently accepting tax returns and sending refunds. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.