COVID-19’s Impact on Federal Tax Filings and Extensions

3 min

The information related to gift and generation-skipping transfer tax payment and filing deadlines contained in this alert is outdated. Current information is located in Further IRS Relief – Gift Tax Extensions to File and Pay.

The IRS and Treasury have postponed the due date for payment of federal income taxes and the filing of federal income tax returns that are due on April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19 on American taxpayers. However, this postponement does not apply to the payment of other taxes and tax filings.

Please note that if you made a reportable gift in 2019, the federal gift tax return reporting the gift will still be due on or before April 15, 2020. If the gift resulted in gift tax being due, the tax must also be paid on or before April 15, 2020.

As in "normal" tax years, you must file either Form 4868 or Form 8892 on or before April 15, 2020 in order to receive an extension of time to file your gift tax return. Specifically, if you file Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) on or before April 15, 2020, you will automatically be granted an extension of time for filing both your federal income tax return and your gift tax return until October 15, 2020. If you do not believe that you will likely be able to file your income tax return on or before July 15, 2020, you should file a Form 4868. If you are not planning to file an extension of your federal income tax return on or before April 15, 2020, then you may file a Form 8892 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Form 709 and/or Payment of Gift/Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax) to obtain a gift tax return filing extension.

Please note that these extensions will not extend the due date for the payment of the taxes, that is, April 15, 2020 for any gift tax due and July 15, 2020 for any income tax due that qualifies for the postponement. In addition, there are no postponements for federal estate tax returns which remain due 9 months after a decedent's date of death or, if extended, 15 months. Thus, all estate tax returns must be filed by the due date and all estate tax payments must be made by that time.

Notice 2020-18 announcing the income tax payment and filing postponement may be found here:, and the IRS has published additional guidance regarding the Notice here:

If you are a resident of a state that has a state-level income tax, you should contact your tax preparer to ensure that you are complying with applicable state deadlines for the filing of your state-level income tax return and payment of state-level income tax.

For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your wealth planning counsel at Venable to discuss further. For further reading, please refer to our prior alerts, Taking Advantage of Estate Planning Opportunities in Light of Coronavirus and Market Plunge and Estate Planning and Coronavirus (COVID -19) Further Tips.