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Tax Deadlines Have Been Extended

The IRS has delayed or waived various tax deadlines this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Articles by Eric Bronnenkant
By Eric Bronnenkant Head of Tax, Betterment Published Apr. 03, 2020
Published Apr. 03, 2020
2 min read

Similar to other years, this year’s tax deadline was originally set by the IRS as April 15th. However, people and corporations alike are finding the deadline difficult to meet as they manage the unknowns and uncertainties surrounding the current coronavirus pandemic.

While the IRS is not historically known for its flexibility, they do have the authority under President Trump’s recent national emergency declaration to provide tax relief to impacted taxpayers.

The tax filing and payment deadline has been extended, and so has the deadline for making IRA contributions. Additionally, required minimum distributions have been waived.

The tax filing and payment deadline is now July 15th.

Individual taxpayers and corporations can defer filing their tax return up until July 15th—without interest or penalties. 

There is no application necessary to receive this tax filing extension. Additionally, you are not required to actually have coronavirus to qualify.

This extension essentially provides an interest-free loan and extra time to prepare your tax return for three months. It’s designed to provide a boost to the economy and allow taxpayers to prioritize other expenses during this time period.

Keep in mind that if you expect to get a refund, there is no benefit to delaying the filing of your tax return. The faster you file, the faster you can get that cash into your bank account.

Other tax deadlines have also been extended.

On top of this valuable opportunity to delay income taxes interest-free, the deadlines to save for retirement have also been changed.

    • The 2019 Traditional and Roth IRA contribution deadline is now July 15th, 2020.
    • The 2019 SEP contribution deadline is now July 15th, 2020 (or October 15th, 2020 if filing for an extension).
    • The 2019 IRA recharacterization deadline is now July 15th, 2020 (or October 15th, 2020 if filing for an extension or amending your tax return).

Because it takes us a few days to process your contributions and recharacterizations, our deadlines for the above actions are earlier than the IRS deadlines.

Required minimum distributions have been waived.

All required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020 have been waived for IRAs and qualified employer plans (401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc.). This waiver includes:

    • RMDs for all retirement plans that you own or that you inherited
    • RMDs that are due on both April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020

Any RMDs that were already taken in 2020 (including 2019 RMDs that were withdrawn early in 2020) are eligible for a 60-day indirect rollover. If you deposit the funds back into your IRA as an indirect rollover, it’s essentially as if you never took the distribution.

Alternatively, you could potentially have three years to pay your distribution back under these special COVID-19 distribution rules.

For more information about coronavirus tax relief measures, check directly with the IRS. We also offer a tax filing guide to help make filing your taxes as seamless for our customers as possible.

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