In the past, our tax attorneys informed clients of the extended filing date for U.S. taxpayers. Because of the Coronavirus crisis, the deadline, normally April 15, was extended to that same day in July. However, if you have consulted a tax attorney recently, you may have discovered that there were rumblings of a potential second extension. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether or not this is actually the case. This is because Steven Mnuchin, United States Treasury Secretary, has not made a specific statement concerning this matter.
What Filers Need to Know
Earlier this week, Mnuchin stated that he does not currently plan to move the tax deadline a second time, although he admitted that it was something he had considered. Mnuchin added that the initial moving of the deadline to approximately 90 days from April 15 was the appropriate action to take at that time. This was due to the April deadline coming in the midst of the pandemic and the closure of many businesses, including accountants and tax attorneys.
The Treasury Secretary went on to say that most U.S. taxpayers have already filed, and the ones who were owed a refund have received their payments. He also stated that as the new deadline approaches, the need for another extension will be evaluated.
The Essentials of Filing for an Extension
Virtually any tax lawyer would probably agree that those who need extra time should file for an extension, rather than wait and hope that the July 15 deadline will be moved forward yet again. It is important, however, to understand that the extension provides six additional months from the original April 15 due date, not from the extended date in July. Therefore, anyone who is granted an extension must be sure to file a return by the 15th of October.
Additionally, the extension must be requested before the current due date of the filer’s return, which is July 15th. It is also essential to understand that the extension does not give taxpayers additional time to pay monies owed, but merely gives them more time to file the tax return itself. Any amount due should still be paid by the current deadline of mid-July. It is also important to understand that the extension does not apply to any previous returns that were not filed, nor does it affect any back taxes the filer may owe.
Options for Requesting an Extension
There are many different ways to file for an extension, such as mailing in Federal Form 4868 to the Internal Revenue Service, using FreeFile on IRS.gov, or asking a tax attorney to file the request. The IRS does not charge a fee for filing an extension.
Ultimately, even though moving the federal tax filing deadline again has been discussed due to the impact of the virus pandemic, the government currently has no plans to extend the July deadline. Therefore, those who are not requesting an extension should file immediately to avoid any unnecessary delays concerning refunds, as well as to avoid interest and penalties. Talk to one of our tax attorneys if you are concerned about your return or have questions about filing deadlines.
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