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The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidance for taxpayers after the historic decision last week to extend the filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision gives Americans three months longer than they typically would have to file their taxes as the coronavirus pandemic forces large swaths of the economy to shut down, threatening to push it into a recession that rivals the 2008 financial crisis.
By extending the deadline, the federal government is allowing individuals and businesses to hold onto their cash longer as they deal with the fallout from the outbreak of the virus. Early estimates suggest that at least one million Americans could lose their jobs in March alone because of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle argued that extending the filing deadline was necessary in order to minimize confusion for taxpayers and ensure that people could receive the help they needed to file.
But the announcement offered few details about the specifics of the new deadline. Here’s everything you need to know:
I already filed my 2019 income tax return and scheduled a payment of taxes for April 15. Will the IRS automatically delay this payment until July 15?
No, but taxpayers can take action to reschedule or cancel their payment.
Many taxpayers who authorize an electronic funds withdrawal when filing their returns can contact the U.S. Treasury Department at 888-353-4537, but must do so at least two business days before the scheduled payment is due.
If you used IRS Direct Pay or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), you may also cancel the payment, but must do so two days before the payment date: For IRS Direct Pay, use the Look Up a Payment Feature. For EFTPS, log in and click on Cancel a Tax Payment.
Taxpayers who scheduled an automatic payment by credit or debit card should contact the company to change the payment date.
Does this extension apply to state tax liabilities?
No. State filing and payment deadlines vary, although a number of them have mimicked the federal government and pushed the date until July 15. Check with your state tax agencies for additional details.
Do I have to file a special form to use the July 15 deadline?
No. If you file a return or an automatic extension request and pay by July 15, no interest or penalties will be due. If you expect a refund, you are encouraged to file your return as soon as you can so that you can receive your refund.
Do I have to be infected with the coronavirus or quarantined to use the new deadlines?
I owe a 10 percent additional tax on a withdrawal I took from a retirement account last year. Is that payment also delayed until July 15?
Yes. This payment has been extended to July 15 as a result of the relief.
What doesn’t qualify for the IRS’s three-month relief plan?
Normal filing and payment due dates continue to apply to estate and gift taxes.
First-quarter estimated tax payments are now due on July 15. Are second-quarter payments still due on June 15
Yes, second-quarter estimated income tax payments are still due on June 15.
Are deadlines to contribute to an Individual Retirement Account, Roth IRA or Health Savings Account also extended?