U.S. Tax Filing Deadline Extended Due to COVID-19March 18, 2020
IRS Allows Midyear Changes to Health CoverageJune 26, 2020
Second Quarter Estimates
Most of you know by now that the Treasury extended
the tax filing and payment deadline to July 15, 2020.
The IRS subsequently made clear that IRS deadlines, which were pushed out, included certain estimated tax payments and contributions to IRAs. The IRS has now clarified that this relief applies to estimated tax payments due June 15, 2020. Previously, the relief only applied to April 15, 2020, estimated payments – which had the absurd result of having second quarterlies (due June 15, 2020) due before first quarterlies (moved to July 15, 2020). Now, it’s clear that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due on or before July 15, 2020, can wait until July 15 to make that payment without penalty.
If you need even more time to file your 2019 tax return – beyond the July 15 deadline – you can request an extension. Extensions filed using form 4868 will allow taxpayers to file on or before October 15, 2020, without penalty. That’s six months after the “normal” April 15 due date and not six months after the already-extended date. Remember that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. You should estimate your tax liability and pay any taxes owed by the July 15, 2020 (not April 15, 2020), deadline to avoid additional interest and penalties.
Overpayments Applied vs. Refunds
If you file a second return after the tax filing deadline, it’s an “amended return.” And normally, you cannot reverse the decision to apply your 2019 refund against the tax owed for 2020. But what if your financial circumstances mean that you’d rather have a refund after all? Normally, this would be a problem at the end of April… but not this year. You may be able to file a superseding return through July 15, 2020, and get that money back.
But, if you file a second return before the filing deadline, the second return “supersedes” the first return. The superseding return is treated like the originally filed return. Voila! Now, you can elect to receive the overpayment as a refund.
Of course, there’s a catch: Like amended returns, superseding returns must be filed on paper. Paper returns take at least six weeks to file at the best of times – and these are definitely not the best of times. So, returns won’t be processed timely. Still, filing a superseding return to request the overpayment be refunded now will generate the refund payment in 2020 rather than 2021. And providing bank or financial institution account information will further speed up the payment by four to six weeks.