20 March 2020

Tax filing deadline moving to July 15, Treasury secretary announces

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday that tax returns normally due on April 15 will not be due until July 15 this year. The news came in a tweet, and the IRS has not yet issued official guidance on the move.

The Treasury secretary’s tweet read, “At [President Donald Trump’s] direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

On Wednesday, the IRS had announced in Notice 2020-17 that it was pushing back the deadline for federal tax payments (up to $1 million for individuals and up to $10 million for corporations) that were due on April 15 to July 15, but it did not at that time postpone any filing deadlines. Notice 2020-17 cited the president’s declaration of a national emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for moving the deadline for these payments. (See prior coverage here.)

AICPA reaction

Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO, thanked Secretary Mnuchin for listening to taxpayers and the accounting profession, and said in a prepared statement, “The coronavirus pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for taxpayers and tax advisers to file on time and in a safe manner, and this relief is helpful. My message to CPA firms and other preparers today is: Our work is not over. There is a great need to support the U.S. economy, and it is urgently critical that refund returns are filed as soon as possible, without unnecessary delay and when able and safe to do. Our profession has a tremendous opportunity to create economic stimulus when we help taxpayers submit a refund return. You and your staff have shown great resilience and AICPA is here to support you through this difficult time.”

Edward Karl, CPA, AICPA vice president–Tax Policy & Advocacy added, “AICPA and its members are grateful for the Department of the Treasury’s and the IRS’s commitment to easing the challenges facing taxpayers and the CPAs who serve them. In addition, we appreciate the many, many members, state CPA societies, and other tax professionals who raised their voice to Treasury and Congress, calling for immediate relief.”

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page.

— Alistair M. Nevius, J.D., (Alistair.Nevius@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editor in chief, tax.