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What can I do if I can’t file my income taxes by April 15, 2020? Thumbnail

What can I do if I can’t file my income taxes by April 15, 2020?

The IRS announced on March 21, 2020 that the 2019 federal tax filing deadline is extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020.  In addition, federal tax payments due on April 15, 2020 are deferred to July 15, 2020, regardless of the amount, with no penalties and no interest.  This federal extension applies to individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and self-employment business forms.  

This is an automatic federal deferral and no forms are required for this filing and payment relief.   

If you need longer than the new July 15 deadline, you may file IRS Form 4868 for a filing extension to October 15, 2020.  File this through your tax professional or use the Free File link on www.IRS.gov. This is a filing extension only.  Payment is not deferred beyond July 15, 2020.  

If you are due a refund, we recommend you try to file as soon as possible.  The IRS is accepting tax returns and sending out refunds even during this period.  The fastest way to get your refund is by filing electronically and providing direct deposit details for your refund.  

State rules may vary and do not necessarily coincide with the new federal extension.  It is important to check online with your own state for the details.  

As of this writing, the Commonwealth of Virginia has extended the filing deadline for income tax returns otherwise due in April or May to June 1, 2020.  This includes individual, corporate and fiduciary income tax returns.  Penalties are waived on final payments made by June 1 provided at least 90% of the tax due is paid; however, interest will accrue from the original due date.   In the case of an individual state tax return the original filing deadline is May 1, 2020.   

Taxpayers may still use Virginia’s automatic six-month filing extension to November 1, 2020, with no application required.  It is important to know that there is no extension of time for paying taxes due on the six-month filing extension.  

To avoid interest on taxes due, it is important to submit a Virginia extension payment by the original filing deadline even if you do not file the return until a later extension date.  There is help on www.tax.virginia.gov .

This information is intended to be general in nature and not specific tax advice.  It is available in the public domain at www.irs.gov and www.tax.virginia.gov.  Consult your tax advisor regarding your personal situation.