April 1, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Tax filing delay should be longer. Many tax professionals welcomed the Internal Revenue Service stating it was going to hold off on the April 15th tax filing deadline and payment deadline until May 17th, 2021, but stated that the date should have been set back even further, given the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, and the needed taxpayer relief. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, in a congressional hearing sought to justify the Service's limited postponement. The Tax Professional community pushed back, stating that the limitation hurts small business owners and calling upon CPAs and other tax professionals to ask their U.S. Senators and other Congress people to intervene. The postponement applies only to individual federal income tax returns and tax payments otherwise due April 15th. It does not apply to first quarter individual estimated tax payments, due April 15th. Many other taxpayers tax year 2020 tax returns and payments also remain due April 15, including those from trusts and estates and C Corporations. Tax filing delay should be longer.

In a hearing of the Oversight subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig sought to justify the limited time and scope of the postponement, saying it was intended to accommodate the needs of the "most vulnerable individuals". The comment was in response to a question from Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, who noted request for a June 15th postponement and asked whether postponements are "going to be a pattern" in future years. "This cannot be a pattern," Rettig said, "Last year was an anomaly, we were shut down." In 2020 the IRS postponed the due date for most returns due on or after April 1, 2020, generally until July 15th that year, and postponed both the first and second quarter 2020 estimated income tax payment due dates to July 15, 2020, as well. This year, despite ongoing difficulties stemming form the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is in a different situation, Rettig said. Its just not the same situation in dealing with the pandemic that it was before.