One day after the AICPA called for an extension of the tax filing deadline, three U.S. senators have introduced the Tax Filing Relief for America Act, a bill to extend the deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020.
The legislation was put forth March 19 by Sens. John Thune, Steve Daines and Angus King. The AICPA swiftly applauded the move, which follows a previous announcement by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that it would extend the tax payment deadline to July 15.
“Treasury’s decision to extend the tax payment deadline from April 15 to July 15 was an important first step, but it only makes sense to also extend the tax filing deadline itself,” Thune says in a statement. “There’s enough confusion amid this outbreak as it is, so I believe it’s incumbent upon Congress to provide as much clarity and relief as possible to American families.”
Edward Karl, the AICPA’s vice president of tax policy and advocacy, says taxpayers and preparers are finding it difficult to comply with the filing deadlines. “Offering taxpayers only relief for federal income tax payments but not for the filing of any tax or information returns is not sufficient, nor does it recognize the burdens our citizens are facing across the country. More must be done immediately. This is why the AICPA supports Senator Thune’s legislation that will help millions of individuals and businesses, and the CPAs who advise them.”
AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon said on March 18 that the administration had not gone far enough to provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis. “Nearly 60% of all taxpayers turn to a tax practitioner to prepare and file their tax returns, and individual and business tax filing deadlines are fast approaching. Even the relatively simple process of filing an extension form requires calculations based on data and information from the taxpayer. Given the current environment, this extension process is impossible for many taxpayers.”
The AICPA is urging Congressional leadership to support the legislation, which was cosponsored by Sens. Richard Burr and Chris Van Hollen.
The AICPA continues to encourage its members to refer to the following resources that can help them manage clients’ needs and their business at this time:
- The IRS has provided more information on what a national emergency may mean for taxpayers and tax practitioners: IRS Resource Guide on Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program.
- U.S. states are providing tax filing relief for individuals and businesses. The AICPA has compiled the latest developments on state tax filings related to coronavirus.
- CPAs’ clients may need assistance with their tax returns and business affairs during this filing season’s uncertainty. Access AICPA guidance and tools.
- Casualty loss and disaster relief resources are also available.