By Laura Saunders 

Earlier this year, disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to announce a historic three-month delay to the April tax deadline. Here are answers to questions taxpayers are asking.

When are taxes due?

The deadline to file and pay 2019 federal income taxes is July 15, 2020.

Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service postponed the tax-filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 due to the pandemic. The Treasury Department and IRS said on June 29 that the deadline to file and pay 2019 taxes wouldn't be extended further.

Can I get an extension?

Yes, in part. Taxpayers who need more time to prepare their returns can file Form 4868 by July 15 to receive a three-month automatic extension to file until Oct. 15, 2020. This form is available online.

An extension to file a return isn't an extension to pay taxes, however. Tax payments are due by July 15, after which interest is assessed and steep penalties may be incurred.

What about state taxes?

According to the American Institute of CPAs, which has been tracking state tax guidance related to the coronavirus, 40 states and the District of Columbia have postponed individual income-tax filing and payment deadlines from April 15 to July 15.

For the latest information, check this chart from the American Institute of CPAs

Has the deadline to contribute to a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or health savings account also been extended?

The April 15 deadline for making contributions to individual retirement accounts, Roth IRAs and HSAs is now July 15.

What are the deadlines now for quarterly estimated tax payments for individuals?

First-quarter and second-quarter estimated tax payments are both due by July 15 this year.

Is anything different with refunds this year?

One quirk of the delayed deadline means many Americans will receive interest payments from the IRS on their refunds. Income-tax refunds for individuals that are issued after April 15 will be paid with interest, as long as the return is filed by July 15. The IRS said the interest payments may arrive separately from tax refunds.

The IRS typically pays interest to taxpayers only when the government issues refunds too slowly. When such refunds are delayed, the agency pays interest at far higher rates than bank accounts do: 5% compounded daily for the second quarter ended June 30, and 3% compounded daily for the third quarter beginning July 1. This interest is taxable.

The IRS has also acknowledged that it was unable to process paper tax returns received by mail for weeks earlier this spring. It says it Is working through that backlog now, at the rate of about one million returns processed a week.

Richard Rubin contributed to this article.

Write to Laura Saunders at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 07, 2020 10:14 ET (14:14 GMT)

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