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IRS and FTB Extend Tax Filing Deadline as Emergency Measure

In a move intended to relieve some of the financial pressure invoked by the coronavirus, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the IRS has moved the national income tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020.  Mnuchin tweeted, “At @realDonaldTrump’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.”  He also wrote, “I encourage all taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file now to get your money.”

In addition to the extended July 15 filing deadline, the economic relief bill would also extend the due date for estimated payments to October 15, 2020.  The bill would treat all estimated payments due through October 15, 2020, as “one installment due on such date.” Thus, taxpayers would not need to write separate checks for the skipped April and July estimated payment dates.

In a similar move, the California Franchise Tax Board has extended the state filing deadline, which now matches the federal directive.  The FTB is postponing the filing and payment deadlines for all individuals and business entities until July 15.  This will include filings for:

  • 2019 tax returns
  • 2019 tax return payments
  • 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments
  • 2020 LLC taxes and fees
  • 2020 Non-wage withholding payments

“The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting life for people and businesses statewide,” said State Controller Betty T. Yee, who serves as chair of the FTB. “We are further extending tax filing deadlines for all Californians to July 15. Hopefully, this small measure of relief will help allow people to focus on their health and safety during these challenging times.”

Since California conforms to the underlying code sections that grant tax postponements for emergencies, the FTB is extending the relief to all California taxpayers. Taxpayers do not need to claim any special treatment or call the FTB to qualify for this relief.

Schools have closed, small businesses have shuttered, Californians are on lockdown, and most pressing, a virus continues weaving its way through the world.  Hopefully these new tax deadlines will provide some solace, however small it may be, during this turbulent time.

Preston Young

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