Based on member feedback, the AICPA has identified seven key areas in need of immediate tax relief and has posted 20 FAQs on the latest developments in taxpayer relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AICPA has been advocating for more comprehensive relief from Treasury and the IRS and also continues to urge the agencies to develop a contingency plan for the next phase of relief should that be needed.
So far, the IRS has postponed until July 15 federal income tax returns and payments (including self-employment tax payments) due April 15, 2020, for 2019 tax years, and estimated income tax payments due April 15, 2020, for 2020 tax years. The IRS has expanded that postponement to include gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes and returns. The AICPA has recommended that the IRS should expand relief to all types of returns and payments due between March 3 and July 15.
The AICPA’s FAQs discuss the need for relief regarding correspondence with the IRS, since taxpayers and their advisers may not timely receive or be able to respond to IRS communications and notices.
The FAQs also discuss the IRS’s recent change of policy regarding its acceptance of e-signatures on certain forms, and the lack of clarity around whether this applies to Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization.
Three of the FAQs cover estimated tax payments because April 15 estimated tax payments were postponed until July 15, but June 15 payments were not.
Other topics in the FAQs include extensions; fiscal-year entities; IRAs and retirement plans; gift and GST taxes; IRS closures; non-income–tax payments; information returns; relief for timely elections; tax-exempt organizations; and U.S. citizens residing abroad.
The AICPA has also developed a state filing relief chart to track state developments, guidance releases, and summaries.
Click here to read the FAQs.
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 Tax Adviser’s editor in chief.