The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected many tax practitioners and taxpayers, and some fear that they will not be able to meet the Oct. 15 tax filing deadlines for federal and many state returns. Thanks to the efforts of many state CPA societies and the Council On State Taxation (COST), many states have provided one additional month of filing relief for corporate tax returns beyond the federal Oct. 15 deadline. Vermont enacted legislation on Oct. 8, 2020, just before the prior law’s Oct. 15 corporate extended deadline (Vt. H. 954).
Eleven states (Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia) responded that they would consider granting relief on a case-by-case basis for corporate extended state tax returns filed by Nov. 16, 2020, if the taxpayer requests in writing abatement of late-filing penalties due to reasonable cause. Tennessee has also seen legislation proposed that would add one month to the extended time in which taxpayers can file a franchise and excise tax return (Tenn. S.B.1883, H.B. 1938).
Several states have extensions beyond Nov. 16, 2020, including:
- Arizona corporate and individual extended returns are due by Jan. 15, 2021, (and fiduciary returns by Dec. 30, 2020) if a federal extension from July 15, 2020, was filed, but if e-filing, the return should be e-filed by Oct. 15, 2020, as the Arizona system is linked to the federal e-file system, which often shuts down after Oct. 15.
- Iowa is providing that extended corporate and other returns that were originally due by July 31, 2020, are due by Jan. 31, 2021, a six-month automatic extension, if 90% of the taxes due were paid by July 31, 2020.
- New York provides extensions until April 15, 2021, upon filing extension requests.
The AICPA is encouraging affected state CPA societies (with state deadlines the same as federal deadlines) to consider working with their state tax authorities and legislatures on 2021 legislation to provide one additional month for state filing after federal filing for all types of taxpayers. The AICPA webpage on this issue has more information, including bullet talking points, model legislation, a chart of examples, and a map.
— Eileen Reichenberg Sherr, CPA, CGMA, MT, is a director–AICPA Tax Policy & Advocacy. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Alistair M. Nevius, J.D., (Alistair.Nevius@aicpa-cima.com) the JofA’s editor in chief, tax.