The Resource Blog: COVID-19 Updates

IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-Critical Functions Continue

Tuesday, March 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
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By The IRS

IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-Critical Functions Continue

"As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak continues, the Internal Revenue Service is taking multiple steps to protect our employees, America's taxpayers and our partners. Although we are curtailing some operations during this period, the IRS is continuing with mission-critical functions to support the nation, and that includes accepting tax returns and sending refunds.

"As a federal agency vital to the overall operations of our country, we ask for your personal support, your understanding – and your patience," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "I'm incredibly proud of our employees as we navigate through numerous different challenges in this very rapidly changing environment. Working closely with our partners in the nation's tax community, we will do everything in our power to help."

The following is an overview of IRS operations and advice for taxpayers during this period. The IRS will continue to monitor issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and updated information will be posted on a special coronavirus page on IRS.gov.

Tax day is now July 15: Key information for taxpayers

The federal income tax filing due date has been automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

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. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. See news release IR-2020-58, Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount.

Refund Filers: File as soon as you can

Refunds continue: If possible, don't wait until July 15 to file if you're owed a refund; file as soon as possible. Refunds will continue to be paid. For the quickest results, taxpayers should use e-file or Free File with direct deposit to help speed up refunds.

E-file recommended: To avoid delays, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically rather than on paper; using direct deposit is also critical to speed up refunds. Most taxpayers can file for free with www.IRS.gov/freefile. The IRS will continue to accept electronic and paper-filed returns for taxpayers who have and prefer to continue to file on paper. The IRS emphasizes that during this period paper returns could require additional time to process; filing electronically remains the best option for taxpayers.

July 15 extension automatic. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.

Estimated Payments: The additional time also includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020 if paid by July 15, 2020.

Extensions beyond July 15: The IRS reminds individual taxpayers the easiest and fastest way to request a filing extension is to electronically file Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses must file Form 7004.

Don't forget state tax returns; different deadlines may apply

The July 15, 2020 extension only applies to federal income tax returns and tax payments otherwise due April 15, 2020, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details. More information is available at https://www.taxadmin.org/state-tax-agencies."

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