Trump Administration Extends 2020 Tax Filing Season Through July 15

The Trump administration has extended the 2020 income tax filing season through July 15. The IRS officially announced the tax relief in Notice 2020-18, released late in the evening on March 20.

Trump Directs Treasury, IRS to Extend Tax Filing Deadline

“At President Trump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a March 20 tweet prior to the IRS guidance drop. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

The move to extend this year’s tax filing deadline to July 15 follows the IRS’s annoucement that certain 2019 tax year payments could be deferred without interest or penalties. As an economic response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) national emergency, the IRS on March 18 issued Notice 2020-17, which stated that up to $1 million in income taxes for individuals and $10 million for corporations could be deferred for the same 90-day period.

Most notably, IRS Notice 2020-18 supersedes Notice 2020-17, which placed limits on the amount of income taxes individuals and corporations could temporarily defer.  Now, there is no longer a limitation on the amount of the payment that may be postponed, according to the IRS.

Taxpayers Require Additional Relief

Prior to the IRS expanding its tax relief in Notice 2020-18, lawmakers and industry leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the administration’s choice not to also extend the filing deadline. Mnuchin’s March 20 announcement about this year’s Tax Day date change comes on the heels of several written requests that the IRS also extend this year’s filing deadline.

“Although Treasury’s decision provided welcome relief for the federal income tax payment deadline, I believe that taxpayers require additional relief,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., wrote in a March 19 letter to Mnuchin. “I respectfully request that you immediately defer the deadline for all filing and tax payment obligations until July 15, 2020.” 

Likewise, Senate Republicans’ Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) unveiled on March 19, too, proposes that the tax filing deadline this year be extended to July 15.

File as Usual if a Refund is Expected

“Working with our members, state societies, and tax professionals everywhere, AICPA scored a victory in the extension of the tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020,” the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) said in a March 20 tweet. However, the AICPA noted that it still encourages taxpayers to file their returns as soon as possible so that refunds can stimulate the economy.

“The AICPA understands the need for economic stimulus and, if possible, those who can file and get refunds should do so now,” AICPA president and CEO, Barry Melancon said in a statement.

Similarly, Mnuchin also encouraged taxpayers to file their returns, if possible. “While I still encourage taxpayers who expect to get a refund to file their taxes, this deadline extension will give everyone maximum flexibility to do what is best for them.”

By Jessica Jeane, J.D. – Senior News Editor and Content Management Analyst

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