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COVID-19 response: Society asks state to extend tax deadline

Written on May 1, 2020

OSCPA staff report

The Ohio Society of CPAs on March 13 asked the State of Ohio to extend income tax filing and payment deadlines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to a request for advice from the DeWine Administration, OSCPA President and CEO Scott Wiley, CAE, said OSCPA surveyed Ohio’s 100 largest accounting firms on the issues they are facing, or expect to face. Extensions would help the business community face challenges caused by the pandemic, Wiley said.

“We know that time is of the essence so are today recommending an initial action that we believe will provide relief to all Ohioans as well as to the businesses who employ them,” he wrote. “… We are hearing from our members that they and their clients are experiencing great uncertainty about this year’s tax filing season. Our recommendations will help give taxpayers, large and small, much needed relief in the midst of this fast-moving emergency situation.”

The recommendation comes in anticipation of federal extensions, a move also championed by OSCPA and the AICPA. On March 11 the AICPA called for the Treasury Department and the IRS to provide relief, including:

  • Broad relief for individuals and businesses, extending deadlines falling on or after March 15 and before Oct. 15, providing additional time to file and make payments through Oct. 15.
  • An automatic extension without request or the need to file any forms.
  • Waive late payment penalties and interest through Oct. 15

“We know that the Trump Administration is already seriously considering extending deadlines; to avoid confusion, we encourage the State of Ohio to adopt the same changes the federal government ultimately adopts,” Wiley wrote.

He noted that Ohio’s municipalities should also follow any federal and state filing and payment deadline changes.

“Taking action now to instill confidence in our economy, and to provide Ohioans with relief we believe will serve as an important complement to the immediate actions your administration has already taken to date.”

Read Wiley’s letter in its entirety. For further guidance for businesses and employers, read more from the CDC here. And as news of the coronavirus continues to develop, refer to OSCPA’s resource page to stay informed.

Federal update: AICPA expressing optimism

The AICPA on March 15 said it anticipates that the Treasury Department and the IRS will announce this week an extension of the April 15 deadline by as much as 90 days, and a waiver of penalties and interest for most taxpayers.

Additionally, the AICPA noted that Treasury and the IRS are aware of the March 16 deadline for businesses and the challenges facing taxpayers and preparers in meeting that deadline. It said it anticipates the bureaus will be generous in determining reasonable cause abatement of any penalties for taxpayers and tax preparers unable to file in a timely manner.