- posted: May 26, 2020
The traditional tax day of April 15 has passed and millions of Americans are taking advantage of the three-month reprieve given by the federal government and many states in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on your individual circumstances, you might be looking to file as quickly as possible in order to collect your refund. On the other hand, problems accessing information or scheduling meetings with an accountant or tax preparer could push your submission closer to the revised deadline.
For filers and businesses alike, this is a necessary and welcome change, as many do not have access to their records and cannot get them while various parts of the country are in a lockdown. With the extension, you should have enough time to gather your records and pay — without penalty — at the later date. If you haven’t filed yet, you should know:
- Federal filing and payment deadlines are extended — Initially, it appeared that the deadline for filing would not be extended, but the deadline for payment would be. However, subsequent events, the potential for confusion and the overwhelming effect of the pandemic led the federal government to push the deadline for both out to mid-July. Just as we cannot foresee how long the deadly COVID-19 threat will last, we cannot be sure if further extensions or adjustments will be made.
- States are taking various approaches — Many states have also extended their tax filing and payment deadlines. Some have followed the IRS by moving the date to July 15. Others have closer deadlines, while some states aren’t offering relief. It is important for you to learn what the standard is in your state, so you should refer to an official website or reliable professional if you have questions.
- Refunds are available — Some confusion might have been caused by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The process for sending stimulus checks authorized by that law used income and bank account information from tax filings to determine eligibility and transfer funds. If your income rises above a certain level, you are not eligible for those payments, but standard tax refunds are being paid promptly regardless of your income or the amount you expect to receive.
Even in the first two months since the coronavirus started causing widespread harm, numerous changes have affected personal and business taxation. For example, there is a recently announced paid sick leave tax credit which many businesses are likely to avail themselves of during this pandemic. Though no one can be sure what’s coming, a knowledgeable taxation attorney can keep you abreast of key developments.
Contact an experienced tax lawyer to discuss your specific concerns
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