Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service extended the 2019 income tax return filing deadline by 60 days, from April 15 to July 15. 

Taxpayers will also be able to defer income tax payments, which are usually due in April, to July 15 without any penalties and interest, regardless of the owed amount. The deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers, as well as those who pay self-employment tax. 

The announcement comes following the president’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, a federal law designed to bring an orderly and systematic means of federal natural disaster and emergency assistance for state and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to aid citizens. It was enacted in 1988.

The Weekly recently spoke with Audra Wallace, of Tolley & Hill in Key Largo, on what the extension means and what people should be doing. 


Audra Wallace

Is the filing and payment deadline extended for everyone? If so, is it best to file sooner than later? Yes, the filing and payment date is extended for everyone. But, if you are due a refund, I would definitely suggest filing sooner so that you get your refund money in hand.


What would you say is the best way to file taxes right now given messages of social distancing from one another? Given that identity fraud is extremely high and that tax documents contain sensitive financial information, I would definitely suggest calling your tax preparer and requesting their secure electronic file Dropbox link. This will direct you to a site that allows you to upload your documents, in an encrypted format, instead of sending them through cyberspace email.

If individuals need more time to file past the July deadline, what should they do? The April 15 deadline has been pushed to July 15. If you need time to file your tax return, beyond that date, you can file Form 4868 (extension of time to file). This will give individual taxpayers until Oct.15, 2020  to file their individual income tax returns. Please note that if you owe income taxes, you have to pay by July 15, regardless. If you don’t pay by July 15, you will be charged with the late payment penalty and interest.

Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for the automatic federal tax filing deadline and payment relief. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.

The IRS will continue to monitor issues related to the COVID-19 virus, and updated information will be posted on a special coronavirus page on IRS.gov.

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