Late in the evening on Friday March 27, the IRS issued Notice 2020-20 as an update to Notice 2020-18, regarding income tax filing relief for taxpayers affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is the third notice Treasury has issued to provide relief for various taxpayers with a filing deadline or payment due on April 15, 2020.
In a change of heart from the FAQs issued on March 24, the IRS is expanding the postponement of federal income tax returns and tax payments from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, to include both federal gift tax and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax filings on Form 709 and related tax payments.
The move to include gift tax and GST tax returns is welcome relief for tax preparers. Generally a federal income tax return extension automatically extends both the gift tax and GST tax return. However, as the IRS pointed out in both Notice 2020-18 and the subsequently released FAQs, no extension filings are required under the COVID-19 postponement relief. Therefore, absent this Notice, tax filers would have been required to file Form 8892 to request an extension.
Affected taxpayers may still choose to file Form 8892 by July 15, 2020, to obtain an extension to file Form 709 by October 15, 2020 (any federal gift and GST tax payments postponed by this Notice will still be due on July 15, 2020).
We encourage clients to continue to move deliberately towards completing tax returns as soon as possible, as there are additional issues to consider in the filing of all returns.
For more information regarding the tax filing postponement, please see our updated blog on the IRS FAQs.
We anticipate the IRS will issue further guidance as the tax season continues. Cohen & Company will continue to monitor the tax implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide up to date information for our clients.
Contact Cynthia Pedersen at Cynthia.email@example.com or a member of your service team to discuss this topic further.
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.
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