Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2020) – American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) President and CEO, Barry Melancon, CPA, delivered a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressing concern that, while the Department of the Treasury delayed the April 15th filing deadline, they have failed to grant extensions for all filing and payment deadlines.
In the letter, Melancon explains, “We believe it is impractical, if not impossible, for taxpayers and their advisors to continue business as usual when IRS’s own operations are minimally operable.”
The AICPA renewed its request for an immediate expansion of tax-related relief to all types of returns and payments due between March 3rd and July 15th and outlined several outstanding issues, including:
Other forms and elections: The due dates of additional forms and elections, such as the election to be taxed as a small business, need additional time.
Individual and corporate estimated payments: The first quarter individual and corporate estimates, which are typically due on April 15, were deferred to July 15. However, the IRS has not yet extended the second quarter deadline, which is still set at June 15.
E-signatures: It is also important for the IRS to take whatever measures are possible to allow taxpayers and their preparers to utilize technology, such as e-signatures, to keep a safe distance from others during the pandemic.
Information and other returns: Other returns due between March 3 and July 15, such as for certain estates, exempt organizations and other businesses, also need relief.
International filing situations: US citizens living abroad or non-resident taxpayers who cannot leave may also be challenged to file.
Payment, penalty and administrative questions: Treasury and IRS should offer generous and automatic relief for other issues related to administrative actions such as expiring statutes of limitations, the processing of correspondence and other actions not already covered by previous relief but related to COVID-19.
Over the last month, the AICPA has advocated on behalf of taxpayers and their advisors to provide relief in the midst of uncertainty during these unprecedented and challenging times:
March 11 – the AICPA called for the Treasury Department and the IRS to provide relief to all taxpayers in light of the uncertainty and challenges caused by the spread of the coronavirus.
March 13 – the AICPA expressed great concern that the Treasury and IRS had not yet announced a tax filing extension given the impending tax return deadline of March 15th for many businesses.
March 13 – following a national emergency declaration, the AICPA the IRS to announce specific details regarding the extension of impending filing and payment deadlines.
March 18 – AICPA President & CEO, Barry Melancon, CPA, released a in response to Treasury’s announcement of interest and penalty relief, but not tax filing relief.
March 19 – the AICPA expressed support for legislation sponsored by Senator John Thune to grant taxpayers a filing deadline extension until July 15th.
March 25 – the AICPA called on Treasury and the IRS to provide more extensive relief to taxpayers.
March 27 – the AICPA urged Treasury and the IRS to provide broader tax filing and payment relief.
April 2 – following the IRS announcement of temporary closures of critical services, the AICPA expressed urgency in providing broader tax filing and payment relief.
Melancon closed the letter by stating, “While we immediately need broad relief until July 15, we continue to urge Treasury and IRS to develop a contingency plan for the next phase of relief should that be needed. As a country, we should not risk anyone’s life to meet tax filing obligations.”
The IRS has provided more information on what a national emergency may mean for taxpayers and tax practitioners: IRS Resource Guide on Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program.
U.S. states are providing tax filing relief for individuals and businesses. The AICPA has compiled the latest developments on state tax filings related to coronavirus (more here).
CPAs’ clients may need assistance with their tax returns and business affairs during this filing season’s uncertainty. Access AICPA guidance and tools.
Casualty loss and disaster relief resources are also available (more here).
Veronica L. Vera