How Will COVID-19 Affect Your 2019 Taxes?

How Will COVID-19 Affect Your 2019 Taxes?

By Kelly M. Walsh

As people throughout the nation are engaging in social distancing and self-quarantine, tax season for the 2019 tax year remains in full swing. Getting your taxes filed on time could be rough, as many tax preparers will not be available, or you may not want to risk the in-person meetings. It is still tenuous what relief is being offered to taxpayers for COVID-19. Here is what we know so far:

Is Scaringi Law still open to prepare my tax return?

Yes! Our offices are still up and running, and we do offer tax preparation services. And yes, we can accommodate your COVID-19 concerns. We are doing more business through telephone and electronic means so our clients can minimize their risk of exposure by remaining at home, but we are still available for in person meetings as necessary or as our clients may prefer. It has always been our practice to sanitize our conference rooms between meetings to protect our clients’ health, and we are continuing that practice now.

Will I still get my refund?

Yes! The IRS is still operating through the COVID-19 emergency, and still working to get taxpayers their refunds in a timely manner. You can check the status of your refund using the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund” tool at https://www.irs.gov/refunds.

Can I get an extension to file my tax return?

Yes! But as of right now, you must take steps to request it. While there has been talk of extending the filing deadline generally for everyone, nothing official has come out yet. However, the IRS has always allowed taxpayers to request an extension to file, and extensions are granted as of right giving taxpayers until October 15th to file their tax returns so long as the request for an extension is submitted before April 15th. Individuals can request an extension by filing Form 4868. Businesses and Corporations can request an extension by filing Form 7004 (for most businesses) or Form 1138 (for corporations expecting a net operating loss carryback). You will be required to include an estimate of your tax liability when you are requesting the extension of time to file. This application does not extend the deadline to pay your taxes, only to file the return.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue grants a filing extension to anyone who is granted an extension to file their federal return. The form to request an extension to file your Pennsylvania return is Form REV-276.

Do I have to pay my 2019 taxes to the IRS by April 15th?

No! The Treasury Secretary just announced that taxpayers are given a three-month extension on the deadline to pay their 2019 income taxes, and no interest will be charged on taxes that are owed but not paid before the extended deadline of July 15, 2020.

The hold on interest appears to only apply to taxes owed for the 2019 tax year. If you owe back taxes for prior tax years, we expect interest to continue to accrue on that tax debt as normal.

As of right now, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue does not appear to have granted this same relief to taxpayers.

What if I can’t afford to pay my 2019 taxes by July 15th?

That’s okay! We can help you prepare a request for an installment agreement so you can pay your taxes in reasonable monthly payments. The IRS knows many people are experiencing financial difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and people’s ability to work. In most cases, a request for an installment plan is likely to be granted so long as it proposes to pay the taxes due within a reasonable time.

Please contact our office at 717-657-7770 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss any additional questions you may have, to have your taxes prepared, or to get help resolving any taxes you may owe.

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