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As part of the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (and the illness it causes, COVID-19) pandemic, on March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) jointly announced in Notice 2020-18 that taxpayers affected by the pandemic now have until July 15, 2020, to file and pay their federal income taxes for 2019.

Notice 2020-18 applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts, estates, corporations, or partnerships that are required to file their 2019 tax return by April 15, 2020. Additionally, taxpayers are eligible for this relief regardless of whether they are ill, medically required to self-quarantine, or physically or financially affected by the virus.

Prior to this extension, millions of taxpayers would have been required to both file their 2019 tax returns and pay their outstanding income tax liability on or before April 15, 2020.

The Treasury Department routinely extends filing deadlines for taxpayers affected by federally-declared natural disasters, and this announcement was not unexpected in light of the ongoing and severe disruptions in the financial markets and in normal business operations across the country.

The extension provides taxpayers with 90 additional days (i.e., until July 15, 2020) to file and pay their outstanding income tax liabilities. No formal election or request for extension is required, and there is no limit on the amount of the payment owed. For those taxpayers with individual retirement accounts and/or health saving accounts this extension will also allow them to continue to make contributions to these accounts until July 15, 2020 (subject to applicable tax code limitations).

For both individuals and businesses, note that the extension applies only to federal income taxes; the filing and payment deadlines for state and local taxes are not affected by this announcement. Lastly, taxpayers who are expecting a tax refund still have the opportunity to file their tax returns with the IRS before the July 15 filing deadline.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Critical information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar programs.


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