In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS has extended the April 15 filing and payment deadlines with respect to federal income taxes until July 15. The due date of federal income tax returns otherwise due April 15, 2020 has been automatically postponed to July 15, 2020 – taxpayers do not need to file anything to get the extension. In addition, any taxpayer with a federal income tax payment due April 15, 2020 can defer payment of an unlimited amount of taxes until July 15, 2020 without being charged interest or penalties. The relief applies only to (i) federal income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) due on April 15 with respect to the 2019 tax year, and (ii) federal estimated income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) due on April 15 with respect to the 2020 tax year (i.e., the first quarterly estimated tax payment). A previous version of this relief did not extend the return filing deadline and capped the amount of tax payments that could be deferred at $1 million ($10 million for corporations).
The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) is also extending until July 15 the filing deadline for North Carolina income and franchise tax returns otherwise due April 15. The NCDOR will also waive late payment penalties on income taxes originally due April 15, provided tax is paid by July 15. However, North Carolina law prevents the Department of Revenue from waiving interest, so any North Carolina income tax payments otherwise due April 15 that are made after that date will accrue interest charges even though penalties are waived.
Not all states and localities have conformed with the extensions granted by the IRS. The situation at the state and local levels remains fluid, and taxpayers are encouraged to consult the website of their applicable state taxing authority or their tax advisors for the latest information.