Answers to Your Tax Questions Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

by | Mar 30, 2020 | COVID-19, Tax Season

You have questions? We have answers … well, mostly we do! With all the changes to the current tax season, the IRS and the State of Georgia are constantly updating details and requirements. To help condense some of this information, we’ve answered some of the more relevant questions below.

Q: What is tax relief?

A: Both the IRS and the State of Georgia have announced an automatic delay in the tax-filing and tax-payment deadline — from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. You do not have to file an extension for this. You must just file and pay any tax due with your return no later than July 15.

Q: Who is eligible?

A: The extended deadline applies to individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other types of business entities that normally have a federal income tax return or payment due on April 15, 2020. It does not apply to federal income tax returns and payments due on any other date. Note that this does apply to both 2019 federal and state income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) AND 2020 estimated federal and state income tax payments (including on self-employment income).

Q: Can I still file an extension for a due date AFTER July 15, 2020?

A: Yes, you can request an extension by filing Form 4868 (businesses and trusts file Form 7004) by July 15, 2020. In this case, your tax return will be due on October 15, 2020. To avoid interest and penalties when filing your tax return after July 15, 2020, however, you must pay any estimated tax due by July 15.

Q: What if I already filed my 2019 income tax return?

A: If you have already filed and owe taxes, then you must pay your taxes in full by July 15, 2020. Interest and penalties will begin to be charged after July 15 for any amount remaining unpaid by that date. If you have already scheduled a payment for April 15, 2020, note that the payment will not be automatically rescheduled unless you change it. There are several ways to do this depending on how you scheduled the payment. Please contact us for assistance.

Q: Do I have more time to contribute money to my IRA for 2019?

A: Yes. Because the due date for filing federal income tax returns has been postponed to July 15, the deadline for making contributions to your IRA for 2019 is also extended to July 15, 2020.

Q: How are payroll, excise and other taxes affected?

A: Normal filing, payment and deposit due dates continue to apply to both federal payroll and excise taxes. In Georgia, no extension is provided for the filing, payment or deposit of any other type of state tax (including employee withholding and sales tax), or for the filing of any state information returns.

However, all Georgia vehicle registrations that expire between March 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020, have been extended through May 15, 2020. This extension applies to all annual registrations, including personal passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, vehicles registered in the International Registration Plan (IRP), and Temporary Operating Permits (TOPs) issued at the time of a vehicle purchase.

Q: How are 1st and 2nd quarter 2020 estimated tax payments handled?

A: First quarter 2020 estimated tax payments normally due on April 15, 2020, may be postponed until July 15, 2020 (if needed). However, second quarter 2020 estimated income tax payments are still due on June 15, 2020. Only first quarter 2020 estimated income tax payments are currently postponed.

As you can imagine, there is still much confusion regarding the tax changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re here to help — please feel free to email Jackie or give us a call at 706-632-7850 with your questions.

And remember, we will continue to work on tax returns in the order they are received. While our previous drop-off deadlines no longer apply, we still encourage you to provide us with your paperwork as soon as you are able, especially if you are expecting a refund. You do NOT have to come inside our office to give us your paperwork. You may email it to us or simply drop it in our dropbox outside our office.