With the outbreak of COVID-19, many things in American society have changed. From closing down restaurants to limiting the size of groups, the government is working to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the American economy. Taxes are also being affected by COVID-19. Read on to understand how.

How is the federal government responding?

In response to the outbreak, on March 20 Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced a 90-day delay in the tax filing deadline. This is in addition to a prior announcement that taxpayers will now have until July 15 to make payments on any taxes owed this tax season. If you expect to owe money, it thus may make sense to delay your tax filing until July 15 (though please check below for state deadline extensions to make sure you’re not missing yours).

If you expect to be getting a refund, you also have the option to delay filing until the summer. But keep in mind that the IRS doesn’t pay you interest on your refund so there isn’t necessarily a monetary reason to delay, if you’re expecting a refund.

A final change to federal taxes this year is that the the IRS, using President Trump’s emergency-declaration declaration, will waive interest and penalties this tax season. This is great news for anyone that owes money and who may be in a cash crunch because of lost wages due to COVID-19.

Does the IRS Offer Advice or Help?

Women sitting at a table going over documents, one helping the other

Recently, the IRS created a specific page for people affected by the coronavirus. This page is updated with new information from the CDC and other government agencies as information becomes available.

On the site, the IRS released new guidance about using high-deductible health plans for the coronavirus. If you have a high-deductible health plan and expense account, you can use it to cover your medical costs for treating the coronavirus. You can also use various online payment options and the IRS2GO mobile app for filing your taxes.

How Are States and Municipalities Responding?

Throughout the country, several states and municipalities have extended payment deadlines and filing seasons for individuals and businesses. Many states have also extended their due dates for any tax payments you owe. The list below is up to date as of 3/20/2020 but please make sure to check with your state tax authorities for the latest information. 
 

  • Alabama (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines)
  • Arkansas (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Arizona (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • California (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • Connecticut (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • Colorado (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines)
  • Delaware (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • District of Columbia (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Georgia (no change as of 3/20/2020) 
  • Hawaii (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Idaho (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Illinois (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines)
  • Indiana (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • Iowa (new filing and payment due date is July 31, 2020)
  • Kansas (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • Kentucky (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020, however interest applies to the deferred income tax payments made after April 15, 2020)
  • Louisiana (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Maine (no update as of 3/20/2020)
  • Maryland (new payment due date is July 15, 2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines)
  • Massachusetts (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines)
  • Michigan (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Minnesota (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines)
  • Mississippi (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Missouri (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Nebraska (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • New Jersey (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • New Mexico (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • New York ( new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020 )
  • North Carolina (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • North Dakota (per North Dakota’s official tax guidance, filing and payment due dates are still April 15, 2020. However, individuals who are unable to file their tax return or make their payment by that deadline can file and make payments through July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest)
  • Ohio (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines)
  • Oklahoma (Filing date is still April 15, 2020, but the new payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • Oregon (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to follow federal deadlines )
  • Pennsylvania (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • Rhode Island (no change as of 3/20/2020)
  • South Carolina (new filing and payment due date is June 01, 2020) 
  • Utah (new filing and payment due date is July 15, 2020)
  • Virginia (no change as of 3/20/2020, but expected to extend payment deadline)
  • Vermont (no change as of 3/20/2020, expected to extend payment deadline)
  • West Virginia (filing and payment due date is still April 15, 2020)
  • Wisconsin (no change as of 3/20/2020)

Retail tax chains may be closed

While there has not been a nation-wide announcement by retail tax prep companies like H&R Block, their offices tend to be located in urban environments, many of which are under national lockdown right now. It may be illegal for you to visit one of these tax prep chains and if it’s not illegal, you may be putting your own or others’ health at risk by venturing to a retail tax prep office.

An online accountant service may be the perfect solution for people who are used to working with an accountant in-person but can’t this year because of coronavirus. Picnic Tax will connect you to an expert accountant online and the whole process can take place from the comfort of your home. Navigate to our homepage to get started today!