IRS Notice Confirms Delay of Tax Return Filing Deadline, Reiterates Tax Payment Extension

The IRS has issued Notice 2020-18, in which the Service makes official the delay to July 15, 2020, of the deadline for filing federal income tax returns and making required tax payments. This is a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. An Executive Order granting the tax filing extension was issued on Friday, March 20. (Before this Executive Order, IRS Notice 2020-17 had granted a deadline extension to July 15, 2020, to make required tax payments, but not to file tax returns.)

The scope of individuals and entities covered by the newest relief is sweeping. Notice 2020-18 states that “any person with a federal income tax payment or a federal income tax return due April 15, 2020, is affected by the COVID-19 emergency for purposes of the relief.” Further, “…’person’ includes an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation…”

No special form must be filed to request the filing extension (e.g., with IRS Forms 4868 or 7004), and there is no limitation on amounts of tax owed—including self-employment tax, or estimated tax payments—the payment of which can be delayed to July 15, 2020.

Notice 2020-18 further states that “no extension is provided in this notice for the payment or deposit of any other type of federal tax, or for the filing of any federal information return.”

It is expected that certain other actions tied to the normal April 15, 2020, tax filing deadline—such as making 2019 IRA and HSA contributions, or making certain retirement plan contributions—are similarly granted an extension to July 15, 2020.

Additional guidance from the IRS may be forthcoming.