IRS Dramatically Expands Tax Filing and Payment Relief


By John Halterman

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has gradually postponed necessary tax filing and payment deadlines.

Now the IRA has issued new guidance postponing almost all tax-related actions over the next few months. This latest postponement is much more extensive than anything granted previously.

We'll explain whether you qualify for relief, what the IRS postponed, what the IRS didn't postpone, and when your new deadline is for your important tax-related matters.

Who Qualifies? You must be an individual taxpayer, a trust or estate, or a partnership or corporation to get relief under the newest guidance.

Tax Return Filing Postponed You now have until July 15, 2020, to file your tax return if you have a federal tax return filing obligation ordinarily due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.

If you need additional time beyond July 15,2020, then you should file an

extension on or before July 15, 2020. Your extended due date can go no

further than your normal extended due date.

This relief applies to the following forms:

  • Forms 1040, 1040-NR, 1040-PR, and 1040-SS

  • Form 1120, Form 1120-S, and all other form 1120 series returns

  • Forms 1065 and 1066

  • Form 1041 and all other Form 1041 series returns

  • Form 706 and all other Form 706 series returns

  • Form 8971

  • Form 709

  • Forms 990-T and 990-PF

If you have originally filed an extension for your tax return and your extended due date falls within this period, then you have until July 15, 2020, to file that extended tax return.

This relief applies to all forms and scheduled that you either attach to your tax return or file by the due date of your return, such as:

  • Schedule H

  • Schedule SE, and

  • International information returns, such as Forms 3520, 5471, 5472, 8621, 8858, 8865, and 8938

According to the IRA, any tax election you need to make on a timely filed return will be considered as timely filed if you attach it to a postponed return and file it by July 15, 2020.

Example 1: Your 2019 form 1040, due on April 15, 2020, is now due July 15, 2020. You can file an extension, and the extended due date is October 15,2020.

Example 2: Your C corporation has a fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. The 2019 C Corporation tax return deadline was January 15, 2020, and you filed an extension. The extended due date is June 15, 2020. You now have until July 15, 2020, to timely file the 2019 C Corporation tax return.

Tax Payments Postponed You now have until July 15, 2020, to make your federal tax payment if you have a federal tax return payment obligation due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.

This relief includes:

  • Payments of tax on any of the returns mentioned above;

  • Estimated tax payments for Forms 1040, 1120, 1041, and 990;

  • Section 965 transition tax installment payments; and

  • Estate tax payments under tax code Sections 6166, 6161, or 6163.

Interest and penalties will start to accrue on postponed payments on July 16, 2020.

Example 3: You have an estimated tax payment of $2,500 per quarter for your 2020 Form 1040. Before the IRS postponement, you had $2,500 due on April 15, 2020, and $2,500 due on June 15, 2020. You now have until July 15, 2020, to make both payments, totaling $5,000.

Payroll Taxes and Returns You'll continue to make federal tax deposits and file your payroll tax returns. The IRS has not postponed any payroll-related dates.

But your federal payroll tax deposits may be reduced or eliminated by the various temporary tax benefits created due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the:

  • Paid sick leave credit,

  • Paid family leave credit,

  • Employee retention credit, and

  • Employer payroll tax deferral.

Time-Sensitive Actions Postponed You have until July 15, 2020, to perform any time-sensitive actions that you had to act on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.

The time-sensitive actions postponed include the following:

  • Filing a U.S. Tax Court Petition

  • Filing a claim for refund or credit of any tax

  • Bringing suit for a claim for refund or credit of any tax

  • The 180-day period to invest in a qualified opportunity zone investment for tax deferral

  • Actions listed in Revenue Procedure 2018-58

Revenue Procedure 2018-58 is 139 pages long and provides a laundry list of postponed items. Some highlights include:

  • S Corporation elections and revocations

  • Section 1031 like-kind exchanges deadlines

  • 60-day indirect IRA rollover deadline

  • Form 5500 for employer retirement plans

  • Section 83(b) elections for employer stock options

Remember, for your refund claim to be timely, you need to file it by the later of

  • Three years from the due date of the return, or

  • Two years from the date you paid the tax

Example 4: You haven't filed your 206 Form 1040, which shows a refund of $1,500 due to withholding. Before this IRA relief, you had to file your return by April 15, 2020, to claim that refund. You now have until July 15, 2020, to timely file the return and receive the refund.

Example 5: You lost in an IRS audit and received a notice of deficiency, and your last day to petition the U.S. Tax Court to challenge the results is May 3, 2020. You now have until July 15, 2020, to timely file the petition.

Example 6: You distributed $5,000 from your traditional IRA on February 5,2020. You'd normally have until April 5,2020, to re-deposit the $5,000 as an indirect IRA Rollover. You now have until July 15,2020, to complete the indirect IRA Rollover.

Form 990 Confusion The IRS listed Form 990-T and Form 990-PF as postponed tax returns. But it did not list Form 990, due for calendar-year tax-exempt organizations on May 15, 2020, as a postponed tax return.

Don't worry though-buried in the list of postponed items in Revenue Procedure 2018-58 is Form 990.

Even though the IRS didn't specifically list it in its guidance, we believe you have until July 15, 2020, to file your calendar-year Form 990 return.

Takeaways The IRS has given you a lot of breathing room to meet your tax obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the federal return, payment, or action is due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, you now have until July 15,2020, to:

  • File the federal tax return,

  • Make the federal tax payments, and

  • Take that important time-sensitive tax action.

The IRS postponed hundreds of time-sensitive actions. Here's a short list:

  • Filing a U.S. Tax Court petition

  • Filing a claim for refund or credit of any tax

  • The 180-day period to invest in a qualified opportunity zone investment for tax deferral

  • S Corporation elections and revocations

  • Section 1031 like-kind exchanges deadlines

  • 60-day indirect IRA rollover deadlines

The most notable exceptions to the IRS postponement relief are federal payroll tax deposits and returns. You continue to file and pay on your regular schedule.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions at 304.626.3900. We'd love to hear from you.

About John

John Halterman, best-selling author and nationally published blogger, has been featured as a financial guest expert on the shows of self-help gurus Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and has appeared on ABC, FOX, BRAVO, NBC, CBS, and A&E. John is the expert host of the weekly WDTV News 5 segment “Solutions 4 Financial Independence.”

As an authority on wealth management, he has been invited by hundreds of institutions such as universities, federal agencies, professional associations, and large energy and utility corporations to be a guest speaker and educational event host. Event topics include retiring ready, managing down market investment risk, how to reduce your tax burden, and transferring your family wealth in the most tax advantageous way.

John is the founder and owner of Beacon Wealth Management, specializing in helping entrepreneurs, professional practitioners, and retirees overcome the 5 major challenges facing successful families. He is a warm communicator with a passion for helping people transform their financial futures. John understands the multifaceted set of financial worries people face as they become more successful and enter the Retirement Red Zone. He empathizes personally with each client and delivers a collaborative client experience that empowers people to reach their life goals.

With more than two decades of experience, John’s professional credentials include Certified Wealth Strategist, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, Certified Estate Planner, Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant, Professional Plan Consultant, and Registered Financial Consultant. He is also a past member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Study Group.

A native of Weston, West Virginia, John served in the United States Air Force prior to becoming a wealth advisor. Today, he resides with his family in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 2005 and have three amazing children. A family-oriented man, he enjoys giving back to his community, coaching youth sports, landscaping, architectural design, and playing racquetball.

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