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IRS Extends Federal Income Tax Deadline to July 15, But Massachusetts Has Not Yet Followed Suit


Posted on March 31, 2020 |

On March 21, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) formally announced the extension of the federal income tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15 (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had previously shared the news on his Twitter account on the morning of March 20). This is good news for both individual and corporate taxpayers that are feeling the financial strain of the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, to date, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has not followed suit—although many other states have.

Boston Taxpayers Do Not Have to File Their Federal Returns Until July 15

The federal extension applies to all taxpayers, and it provides automatic relief so that taxpayers do not need to file anything with the IRS on April 15. As the IRS explains:

“The 2019 income tax filing and payment deadlines for all taxpayers who file and pay their Federal income taxes on April 15, 2020, are automatically extended until July 15, 2020. This relief applies to all individual returns, trusts, and corporations. This relief is automatic, taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify. . . . This relief also includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020.”

For those who are entitled to a refund, there is no obligation to wait, and the IRS encourages taxpayers to submit their returns and direct deposit information promptly. In a separate News Release, the IRS stated that, “[m]ost tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.” For those who owe money and who have already filed, it may be possible to delay scheduled payments by contacting the U.S. Treasury Department or updating the scheduled payment date on IRS Direct Pay or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

Massachusetts’ Tax Deadline Remains April 15

Unlike many other states, Massachusetts has not yet extended its state tax filing deadline. As a result, Boston residents must still file their state taxes and pay any amounts owed no later than April 15. The ordinary automatic extension options remain available; however, these still require taxpayers to pay a minimum of 80 percent of the amount owed on tax day.

This, of course, limits the benefits of the IRS’s tax day extension; and, for this reason, the Tax Foundation and other entities are encouraging Massachusetts and other states to extend their filing and payment deadlines to July 15. In the meantime, individuals, couples and businesses in Boston will need to work on preparing their federal returns so that they have the information they need in order to file their state returns on time.

Speak with a Boston Tax Attorney at Thorn Law Group

If you have questions or concerns about your state or federal tax obligations during the novel coronavirus pandemic, we encourage you to get in touch. To speak with a Boston tax attorney in confidence, call 617-692-2989 or inquire online today.

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