CHESTERTOWN — Of all the event postponements aimed at keeping the coronavirus outbreak at bay, there is one that every Marylander and American is likely very happy about.
Taxpayers are being given an additional 90 days to file their returns. The April 15 deadline to file state and federal taxes has been pushed back to July 15.
In addition, the Internal Revenue Service and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that any income tax payments due April 15 will not be subject to interest or late fees if made by July 15.
“Right now, Maryland taxpayers and businesses must stay focused on their health and keeping their lights on, both in their homes and businesses,” Franchot said in a statement. “Extending the due date for Maryland state individual and business income tax payments helps us keep cash flowing in our economy and into employees’ bank accounts.”
The IRS reminds those expected to receive a refund to file their returns as soon as possible. According to a news release, federal refunds are still being issued within 21 days.
"Even with the filing deadline extended, we urge taxpayers who are owed refunds to file as soon as possible and file electronically," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. "Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds."
For Maryland businesses, Franchot extended sales and use tax payments due in March, April and May to June 1. Interest and penalties will be waived, according to a news release. This includes: withholding tax; admissions and amusement tax; alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel excise taxes; tire recycling fees; and Bay restoration fee returns.
"Our state’s top priority is safeguarding public health for Marylanders, but we must also protect the financial health of our economy," Franchot said. "This extension will provide much-needed relief to our business owners as they adjust to changes in consumer behavior, tourism trends and employee workforce output."
Those seeking assistance from the IRS on their federal taxes are being directed to a special COVID-19 page on the agency's website, irs.gov/coronavirus. The site offers a number of online resources to help tax filers, while assistance centers are closed due to COVD-19.
"In response to the national emergency and to protect our employees, America’s taxpayers, communities and our partners, the IRS has temporarily closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers and discontinued face-to-face service throughout the country until further notice. The IRS is continuing to process tax returns, issue refunds and help taxpayers to the greatest extent possible," the website states.
Franchot previously closed his tax assistance offices, but continued to keep phone lines open. Those lines will be shut down at 4:30 p.m. today.
State tax filers may email any questions to email@example.com. A news release cautions that response times may be affected as staff will be prioritizing processing tax returns and getting refunds out.
"For many Marylanders who are financially struggling to survive this crisis, their tax refunds will be a huge relief, so we want our very limited on-site workforce remaining to prioritize getting that money to them as quickly as possible," Franchot said. "By extending the filing and payment deadline for individual and corporate income taxes to July 15, as well as postponing most business tax payments until June 1, we've given taxpayers extra breathing room and allowed our staff to continue answering taxpayer questions without having to report to state offices."
For more information, visit marylandtaxes.gov.