Gift and GST returns added to postponed tax and filing deadlines

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.

Late on Friday, the IRS added gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax returns to the list of federal taxes and tax returns that have had their April 15 deadlines postponed to July 15 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Friday’s notice, Notice 2020-20, updates the guidance issued a week earlier in Notice 2020-18.

The earlier notice had applied only to federal income tax returns and payments (including self-employment tax payments) due April 15, 2020, for 2019 tax years, and to estimated income tax payments due April 15, 2020, for 2020 tax years. Notice 2020-18 explicitly did not apply to any other type of federal tax or to any federal information returns. Practitioners had noted the narrow focus of the earlier guidance, and on Thursday the AICPA requested broader relief from the IRS (see prior coverage here). Among the specific requests made by the AICPA was that if an individual tax return is postponed until July 15, the due date for a related gift tax return should also be automatically extended to that date.

Notice 2020-20 provides that requested relief. For any taxpayer with a federal gift or GST tax payment due on April 15, 2020, or who is required to file Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, on April 15, 2020, the due date for making payments of federal gift and GST tax and for filing Form 709 is now July 15, 2020. Interest, penalties, and additions to tax for failure to file Form 709 or to pay federal gift or GST tax will not accrue for these taxpayers during the April 15 to July 15 period.

The extension is automatic, and taxpayers do not have to file Form 8892, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Form 709 and/or Payment of Gift/Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, to get the filing and payment relief. However, to receive an extension of the Form 709 filing date to Oct. 15, 2020, the taxpayer must file Form 8892 by July 15.

The relief in Notice 2020-20 does not apply to estate tax returns.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page.

— Alistair M. Nevius, J.D., (Alistair.Nevius@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editor in chief, tax.

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