The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it won’t be extending the July 15 tax filing and payment deadline. It had previously granted a three-month postponement of the April 15 due date in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although taxpayers filing Form 1040 series returns may file Form 4868 by July 15 to obtain an automatic extension to Oct. 15, the extension only provides additional time to file the tax return; it doesn’t provide an extension to pay any taxes due. Taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on the extension form and pay any amount due. Those who make a full or partial payment can also simply indicate that the payment is for an extension and don’t need to file a separate extension form and will receive a confirmation number for their records.
Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t seem to have much sympathy for the economic havoc that COVID-19 has wreaked on many individuals. Acknowledging the hardships some taxpayers may be facing due to the pandemic, it’s offering several payment options for individuals who can’t pay in full, including installment payment plans, the temporary delay of collections and settling the bill for less than what’s owed by submitting an offer in compromise. However, even for those individuals eligible for payment plans or temporary delay of payment, interest and penalties will still continue to accrue and must be paid. It stresses that individuals should pay what they can as soon as possible and even suggests that other options, such as getting a loan, may be cheaper than the combined interest and penalties that must be enforced under federal law.
The IRS also reminds taxpayers to check their state filing and payment deadlines, which may differ from the federal July 15 deadline.