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Changes to the 2020 US Tax Returns deadline due to COVID-19

An overview of the 2020 US tax return deadline extension and crucial information about Economic Impact Payments that US citizens are entitled to, wherever they live.

Written by Lauren Ross on 31 March 2020

In America, the national income tax filing day has been moved three months backwards from its normal deadline by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The usual deadline is 15th April, but treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the move to 15th July. This is to allow taxpayers and all businesses that have been effectively slowed down by the global pandemic Covid-19, to have the additional time that they need to make payments and file without enduring any penalties. These changes will affect all American’s, including ‘Accidental Americans’ who are required to file a tax return for 2019.

This relief period of 90 days does not require any action to be taken to qualify for, and applies to corporations, trusts and all individual returns. It includes all your estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that were originally due on April 15th, and any interest and penalties will only begin if there are remaining unpaid balances from July 16th 2020.

Economic Impact Payments

Both the Treasury Department and the IRS have been automatically distributing economic impact payments of $1,200 per taxpayer to individual tax filers with a gross income of up to $75,000, and up to $150,000 for married couples that file joint returns, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Tax filers will have the amount of the payment reduced if their income exceeds this amount, by $5 for every $100 over the above income bracket.  Your adjusted gross income is based on your 2019 tax return if this has been filed or your 2018 return.

If you filing status is single or married filing separate you will not receive any payment if your adjusted gross income exceeds $99,000. If you filing status is married filing jointly you will not receive a payment if your adjusted gross income exceeds $198,000.

Why it’s best to file as soon as possible

Taxpayers that do not owe money to the IRS are that are owed refunds are being urged to not leave them until the last minute and to file for them as quickly as possible, resulting in them receiving them much sooner.

Many financial issues have been caused by Covid-19, and the filers that have been drastically affected by these and are more-so in need of money due to the pandemic, will benefit much sooner if completed early. Electronically filed returns are issued within a three-week period, however this time frame is doubled with paper-filed returns.

It is worth noting that you are still able to file for a six-month extension to file your returns which has not changed, although with this you must consider looking into your home state to see exactly what its guidelines are for extensions, as different states will vary what exactly is granted.

Request a free introduction to a US tax specialist

If you are unsure of how the changes will directly affect you, it is vital that you seek professional assistance from a specialist. We can assist you by introducing you to a tax specialist from our network who will ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

As part of our introduction service, you will be offered a free 15-minute consultation where the specialist will review your current situation and discuss how the various changes may affect you. If you need more in depth assistance following the consultation, the specialist will be able to provide you with a fee quotation for their services.

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