March 23, 2020

UPDATE: Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline Moved to July 15

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has postponed the federal income tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020, from the usual April 15 due date. The move came two days after the agency had postponed the income tax payment deadline and now aligns both requirements in terms of timing.

Here’s what the new income tax filing and payment deadline means to affected taxpayers, which includes most individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, associations and corporations:

  • 2019 federal income tax forms and payments, including from self-employment income, are due on July 15, 2020.
  • No penalties or interest on 2019 income tax owed will accrue in the 90-day postponement period.(They will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020, though, on any unpaid income taxes.)
  • There is no longer is any limit on the amount of tax payment that can be postponed to July 15.(The previous payment postponement had limits on how much tax individuals and corporations could postpone.)
  • The deadline to file 2020 first quarter estimated tax payments, including taxes on self-employment income, is also extended to July 15, 2020.It is worth noting that the deadline to pay second-quarter estimated taxes remains June 15, 2020.

The brief notice from the IRS announcing the postponement did not address some other potentially important matters, including:

  • Whether the usual automatic six-month extension to complete tax forms will still end on Oct. 15 or be moved to Jan. 15, 2021.
  • Whether the extension applies to making contributions to individual retirement accounts, Roth IRAs and health savings accounts for the 2019 tax year, which usually is April 15.

Given the current increase in the number of states – including Illinois – that have ordered non-essential businesses to close or work from home, this new deadline provides some valuable additional time to prepare tax returns.However, it is advisable to still provide your tax preparer with all relevant information and documents to complete your returns as soon as possible. Given the current disruptions affecting where your tax professionals may be located, it is preferable that you do so by electronic means.

State Filing Deadlines

Several states have followed the IRS in postponing their income tax filing and payment deadlines.So far, Illinois has not.The American Institute of CPAs is tracking state tax guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We expect additional information to be forthcoming from the IRS, the state of Illinois and other states in the next few days.We will continue to update you as necessary.

If you have questions or want to discuss these matters, please contact one of the lawyers in our Tax Planning and Compliance Practice.

Visit our Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources page for more information.