The current COVID-19 pandemic, otherwise known as Coronavirus, has filled our lives with an air of uncertainty and worry. Our entire lives have been turned upside down and our routines are all out of sorts. As April comes into view, many are wondering how Coronavirus and tax season are going to affect each other. We have the latest information regarding your tax filing and tax returns. 

Has the tax deadline changed?

Yes. April 15th is the normal deadline for filing your federal tax returns, however this has been changed for 2020. The new deadline is July 15th for filing your 2019 federal tax returns and paying any taxes owed. This is an automatic extension, no additional forms must be submitted. State tax filing deadlines vary, so make sure you stay up to date by visiting your state’s tax website.

Self-employed, quarterly tax payers must pay their first quarterly tax payment by July 15th. The second quarterly tax payment is still has a scheduled due date of June 15th, however this is also subject to change. 

Should I still file my taxes now or wait?

Just because you can wait doesn’t mean you should. In fact, you shouldn’t. There are a few reasons why you should always file your taxes as early as possible.

  • If you are expecting a tax refund, the earlier your return is accepted the faster you will receive your refund. 
  • The longer you wait to file your taxes, the more time criminals have to file a fraudulent return using your information. 

Tax identity theft is one of the fastest growing forms of identity fraud. However, it is also one of the easiest to prevent. If you were to file your taxes on the first day possible, it would be extremely difficult for a criminal to beat you to the punch. However, if you were to wait until July 14th this year, criminals would have over seven months to file a fraudulent return under your name.

Are tax refunds being delayed?

As of now, refunds are being processed in the usual time frame. If you file electronically, you will generally receive your refund within 21 days. Choosing direct deposit to receive your refund is still the fastest way to receive your money. However, due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic, the longer you wait to file your taxes the more of a risk you take in your return being delayed. 

While much of our lives have been put on hold, your taxes still have to be filed. The only difference is that you have a bit more time this year. Coronavirus and tax season are intertwined, and things can always change. Keep an eye on the news for any new information and stay safe.