On April 9, the IRS issued Notice 2020-23, greatly expanding earlier relief for taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 national emergency declared by the president. The notice delays until July 15, 2020, most federal tax-related actions due to be performed on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, including filing and payment due dates.
The filing and payment extensions in Notice 2020-23 apply automatically; taxpayers do not have to file an extension request to get relief. As with the earlier relief, taxpayers with an original filing deadline on or after April 1 that need more time beyond July 15, 2020, can file Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” or Form 7004, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns,” whichever is applicable, on or before July 15, 2020, to obtain an extension.
The relief provided in Notice 2020-23 is broad and applies to all types of taxpayers. Highlights of due dates that are moved to July 15, 2020, include:
- Second quarter estimated tax payments due June 15, 2020 (previous relief applied to only first quarter estimated tax payments)
- Requests for a refund of corporate estimated tax (Form 4466, “Corporation Application for Quick Refund of Overpayment of Estimated Tax”)
- All Form 990s with a due date on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, including those due May 15, 2020
- Additional forms not previously covered by the extended due date, including Form 5227, “Split Trust Information Return,” and Form 3520, “Annual Return to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts”
- Time-sensitive actions including the filing of a petition with the Tax Court and bringing suit for credit or refund of any tax with a required date of performance on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, if the time for performance did not expire prior to April 1, 2020
- Time-sensitive actions referenced in Revenue Procedure 2018-58, such as filing a Form 3115, “Application for Change in Accounting Method,” electing out of a net operating loss carryback, and making an individual retirement account contribution for the prior year
- Investment in a qualified opportunity zone
In addition to the relief for taxpayers, the notice also grants the IRS an additional 30 days to perform certain time-sensitive actions. Taxpayers should work with their advisers to determine how this extension affects examinations, appeals, statutes of limitations, and other issues.
Generally, the relief in Notice 2020-23 does not delay deposit or payroll-related filing requirements. However, Congress has provided payroll tax relief, including deferral of the payment of certain employment taxes.
The IRS might continue to issue filing relief depending on how long stay-in-place and shelter orders remain active. Taxpayers should continue to monitor available tax relief and check with their advisers to determine what relief is available for state tax filing and payment obligations.