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Requesting an Automatic Tax Deadline Extension


Recognizing that many taxpayers are facing unprecedented financial turmoil as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS recently implemented an automatic filing deadline extension. Those who qualify for this extension will have until October 15, 2020 to file their 2019 tax returns. It’s important to note, however, that the extension only provides additional time to file a tax return and not to make payments. There are, however, a number of options available to taxpayers who cannot make their full payments by the July deadline, so if you are unable to file or pay your taxes this summer, you should contact an experienced Florida unfiled taxes lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you craft a solution that suits your specific needs.

July 15th Deadline

Soon after news of the pandemic broke, the IRS announced that it would be offering a deadline extension to taxpayers, who were no longer required to file or pay taxes by April 15th, but would have an additional three months to fulfill these responsibilities. While many expected the deadline to be delayed even further after the most recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the IRS and Department of the Treasury have declined to do so. Instead, individual taxpayers who cannot meet the July deadline can now request an extension, which gives them an additional three months to file their taxes.

October 15th Deadline

Taxpayers can obtain an automatic extension by filing Form 4868, estimating their tax liability, and paying any amount due. Those who satisfy these requirements will have an additional three months (until October 15, 2020) to file their tax returns. Taxpayers can also get an extension by paying all or part of their taxes, but also indicating that the payment is for an extension. Taxpayers who go this route are not required to file a separate extension form.

The October 15th deadline, however, does not apply to tax payments. Instead, those who are unable to pay taxes due to COVID-19-related hardships, are still directed to pay what they can by the July deadline in order to avoid the accrual of interest and penalties. Taxpayers who find themselves in this situation will then have a number of options when it comes to paying off the remaining balance, one of which is to enter into an installment agreement with the IRS. While interest and late payment penalties will continue to accrue on any unpaid taxes after the July deadline, that rate will be cut in half from 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent. Taxpayers who cannot pay in full also have the option of:

  • Entering into an Online Payment Agreement, which are available to those who owe $50,000 or less in taxes;
  • Requesting a temporary delay of the collection process; or
  • Entering into an Offer in Compromise agreement.

To learn more about your own options when filing or paying taxes, please contact our office today.

Speak with an Experienced Tax Attorney

If you have not yet filed or paid your taxes, please call 386-490-9949 to speak with experienced Florida tax attorney Ronald Cutler, P.A. about your deadline-related questions and concerns.