Mississippi Extends Tax Deadlines But ... It’s Complicated (5)

March 23, 2020, 3:05 PM; Updated: March 24, 2020, 12:02 AM

The trickle of states that followed the IRS in pushing out tax filing and payment deadlines turned into a flood on Monday, with Minnesota, Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana and others matching the new federal deadline of July 15. Mississippi also pushed out some deadlines, but not quite so far. Here’s the latest on shifting state tax guidelines, deadlines, and policy to deal with the new coronavirus pandemic. For our weekend coverage click here. Here’s a state-by-state roadmap.

Mississippi Offers an Extension, Sort Of

Mississippi’s Department of Revenue on Monday made official what Gov. Tate Reeves (R) had promised over the weekend, saying it was extending deadlines for 2019 individual income tax and corporate income tax filing and payments until May 15, well short of the new July 15 deadline for returns and payments the Internal Revenue Service announced for federal taxes on March 20.

“The extension does not apply to sales tax, use tax or any other tax types,” the department also noted. “These returns should be filed and paid on the normal due date.”

Reeves, who was answered questions on Facebook Live because he remains in self-isolation after a family trip to Europe, said the tax deadline could not be delayed as long as the federal deadline.

“Unlike the federal government, Mississippi’s fiscal year ends June 30,” he said.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue said in a Monday tweet that extending state deadlines to July 15 would have an impact of about $550 million on the state budget, shifting those receipts into next fiscal year.

“Obviously, as we look to complete our fiscal year, our constitution requires we have a balanced budget,” Reeves said. “So what I want to encourage Mississippians to do, in regards to the April 15 tax deadline: If you have the ability to pay early, or pay between now and April 15, please do so. It certainly would help us from a cash flow standpoint.”

Reeves said the April 1 deadline for filing homestead exemptions also likely would be delayed for about a month.

“These are all ever-evolving times and we’ll make future decisions based upon the situation as it exists at that time,” Reeves said.

Colorado Grants Automatic Filing Extension

The Colorado Department of Revenue announced that it is extending the payment deadline for all Colorado taxpayers by 90 days until July 15.

Also, all income tax returns that were required to be filed by April 15 were granted an automatic six-month extension to Oct. 15.

Minnesota Taxpayers Have Until July 15 to File

The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced Monday individual income taxpayers have until July 15, 2020 to file and make payments for the 2019 tax year without any penalties or interest.

“Extending the individual tax filing deadline will provide much-needed relief to Minnesotans impacted by COVID-19,” said Gov. Tim Walz (D). “As we work together to combat the spread of this virus, my administration will do everything we can to ease the burden on families across the state.”

Kansas Aligns With IRS

Kansas taxpayers also will have extra time to file their taxes this year, the Kansas Department of Commerce announced Monday.

"@GovLauraKelly issued an Executive Order this afternoon pushing the filing deadline for personal and corporate income tax filings from April 15 to July 15, aligning the state deadline with the recently extended federal deadline,” the agency said in a tweet.

Georgia to Move Deadlines

Georgia will follow the federal government’s lead in extending its income tax deadlines to July 15, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said on Monday afternoon.

He said the state would issue further guidance soon.

No More Face-to-Face for California Sales Tax Offices

California’s sales tax department said Monday that it was closing its 23 California offices to the public and isn’t taking payments in person as part of the state’s emergency response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Taxpayers can ask for help or make an appointment with a field office representative through the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s call center at 1-800-400-7115. Online services, email, and regular mail are available for requests for extensions on filing a return or for relief of interest and penalties. This includes assistance if you are unable to make a timely tax payment.

The deadline for filing returns or making payments is May 11 for anything due between March 12 and then. The department moved the deadline under an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

The department administers sales and use tax, and more than 30 other special taxes and fees.

Alabama Adds 90 Days to Deadlines

The Alabama Department of Revenue said Monday that it was extending by 90 days, until July 15, the date by which taxpayers must submit state income tax returns and make payments, bringing its deadlines into conformity with those announced Friday by the Internal Revenue Service.

The deadline applies to individual income tax, corporate income tax, the financial institution excise tax, and the business privilege tax. No penalties or interest will be imposed for payments made through July 15.

Louisiana Makes It Official

Louisiana’s Department of Revenue formalized its own IRS-style extensions on Monday, after Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) last week announced that the state would move to combat the effects of Covid-19.

“The due date for these returns and any payments due with the returns is extended to July 15, 2020,” the department said on Twitter. “This is an automatic extension and no extension request is necessary.”

District of Columbia in Step With IRS

Washington, D.C., extended its tax deadlines in line with the IRS, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt said Monday.

Taxpayers in the District are now required to file and pay their 2019 individual and fiduciary income tax returns (D-40, D-41, and D-40B), partnership tax returns (D-65), and franchise tax returns (D-20, D-30) by July 15, an extra 90 days.

Missouri Deadlines Pushed Back

The Missouri Department of Revenue said Saturday it was extending the deadlines for filing income tax returns and making payments by three months, to July 15.

The department noted penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16.

“In an effort to ease customer concerns and encourage social distancing, the Department is providing Missouri citizens and businesses additional time to pay their income taxes and to renew their driver licenses and motor vehicle registrations,” revenue director Ken Zellers said.

New York State Late Sales Tax Payments

New York’s tax agency on Monday added some details to the executive order Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) issued Friday, explaining the state’s plans to abate interest and penalties on sales tax collections due March 20. Cuomo’s order granted the state tax commissioner temporary authority to abate interest, in addition to the existing authority to waive penalties.

The Department of Taxation and Finance notice (No. N-20-1) gives taxpayers an extra 60 days to file returns and make payments, and includes a link to instructions on how to apply. Vendors required to file monthly sales tax returns and participants in prompt payment or prepayment programs aren’t eligible at all.

The agency laid out four examples of acceptable reasons for failing to meet the March 20 deadline, including: key employees being treated for Covid-19 illness or suspected of having it; necessary records being unavailable because of the outbreak; virus-related business closures; or tax practitioners unable to complete work for their clients. Applications for relief will be evaluated case by case.

Wisconsin Follows IRS Move

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced Saturday that the state income tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15 to conform with the new federal deadline.

“This is just one more thing we can do for Wisconsinites during this challenging time. Our main goal is to assist our citizens in any way that we can,” Evers said in a statement.

Illinois and Chicago Offer Relief

The Illinois Department of Revenue issued emergency regulations March 19 to assist some restaurants and bars affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, waiving any penalty and interest that would have been imposed on late sales tax payments from qualified taxpayers.

In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot March 19 extended filing deadlines for six tax programs, giving businesses affected by the new coronavirus until April 30 to file returns and make payments. The extensions apply to businesses with obligations under the bottled water tax, checkout bag tax, amusement tax, hotel accommodations tax, restaurant tax, and parking tax.

Iowa Goes Beyond IRS

The Iowa Department of Revenue March 19 extended the filing and payment deadlines for several state tax programs beyond those of the IRS. It moved the deadlines for income, franchise, and moneys and credits taxes to July 31, 2020, for those with a due date on or after March 19, 2020, and before July 31, 2020.

Nebraska Waives Some Liquor-Related Penalties

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) signed an order March 19 granting greater flexibility for tax compliance to restaurants and bars coping with Covid-19. Ricketts waived penalties and interest on late sales and liquor tax payments during the duration of the emergency. On Monday, Ricketts also said Nebraska would be conforming to the federal tax deadline of July 15, but he encouraged taxpayers not affected by Covid-19 to files their returns and make payments by April 15.

—With assistance from Chris Marr in Atlanta, John Herzfeld in New York City, Laura Mahoney in Sacramento, Tripp Baltz in Denver, and Sam McQuillan in Washington.

(Updates with information from Colorado. Earlier updates added sections on Kansas, Georgia, California, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael J. Bologna in Chicago at mbologna@bloomberglaw.com; Jennifer Kay in Miami at jkay@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at jharrington@bloombergtax.com; David Jolly at djolly@bloombergtax.com

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