Tax – COVID-19 Issues
Last Update November 20, 2020
Below are selected websites from reliable sources, vetted by our Law Librarians. This is not an exhaustive list of information available on this topic, but a starting point to provide you with basic information.
The automatic tax filing deadline extension to July 15, 2020 has expired.
Tax Relief is Available for Disaster Victims
- The IRS has provided Frequently Asked Questions for disaster victims about the definition of an affected taxpayer.
- Here is FEMA’s list of qualifying disasters
Information from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service
- Coronavirus and Economic Impact Payments: The IRS has created a Resources & Guidance website with tax tips, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Partner Materials, YouTube Videos, & Guidance for taxpayers.
- Online Tax Help
- Free File: Prepare and file your tax return for free. Available until Oct. 15, 2020 at 9:00 pm PST.
- Where’s My Refund?: Check Your Refund Status Online
- Online Payment Agreements: Apply for a payment plan to pay your balance over time
- IRS2Go Mobile App: Check your refund status, make a payment, find assistance & sign up for information
- Online Account: View your tax balance and payment history
- IRS FAQs, Resources, and Guidance
Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities
Taxpayers receiving relief are:
- Community Development Entities (CDEs)
- Qualified Active Low-Income Community Businesses
investing and conducting businesses in low-income communities.
On Friday, March 20, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and mid-sized employers can take advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits to fully reimburse them for the cost of Corona-virus related leave provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This relief includes:
- Paid sick leave for workers for COVID-19 related reasons, including 80 hours paid sick leave and expanded child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable.
- Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the Act.
- Health insurance costs also included in this credit
- No tax liability for employers
- Self-employed individuals also receive credit
- Some exemptions for businesses with under 50 employees
Information from the State of California Franchise Tax Board
- The California Franchise Tax Board has postponed the filing and payment deadlines until July 15, 2020 for individuals and business entities for
- 2019 tax returns
- 2019 tax return payments
- 2020 1st & 2nd quarter estimate payments
- 2020 LCC taxes and fees
- 2020 Non-wage withholding payment
- COVID-19 FAQs for Tax Relief Assistance: Information about COVID-19 and filing income taxes.
- Review New Due Dates: COVID-19 Extensions to File and Pay
- Healthcare Coverage Enrollment Date Extended
The State of California Franchise Tax Board also has an updated YouTube channel.
Information from San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector
- Treasurer-Tax Collector is currently accepting payments for secured and supplemental bills with due dates after June 30, 2020.
- BUT, Penalty Cancellations are available for those Effected by COVID-19. San Diego County’s Tax Collector announced that tax payers who could not pay their second property tax installment on time due to issues related to COVID-19 can request to have their penalty cancelled. The property tax amount still needs to be paid by June 30. Read the announcement here and check out the application and instructions here.
- All five San Diego County Tax Collector’s Offices are closed to the public as of Thursday, March 19, 2020. But, you can still call 1-877-829-4732 for tax information.
Read the language of the CARES Act
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This Act delays due dates for payroll taxes and makes other tax related rule revisions. It also created the Economic Impact Payment Checks, also know as Stimulus Checks.
The CARES Act provides payments American individuals and families that meet certain financial criteria. The IRS has created an Economic Impact Payment Information Center to answer to provide information, but here is an overview.
The payments will be based upon 2018 taxes, or if they have already been filed, 2019 taxes. To see if you are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment, you can check your eligibility here.
If you are not required to file taxes because you are a senior citizen, a social security recipient, or a railroad retiree, the payments will be based on either Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 from the most recent tax year. If you have not filed taxes because your income is under a certain amount and you do not receive Social Security and are not a Railroad Retiree, there is an IRS Non-Filer: Enter Payment Information website. Non-filers can enter their payment information here.
If you did not get an Economic Impact Payment because you did not file taxes in 2o18 or 2019 and you are not a social security recipient, a railroad retiree, you may still be eligible for an Economic Impact Payment. However, the deadline to file for a payment is November 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST (12:00 pm PST). More information can be found at the IRS website.
Check out this video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau YouTube channel:
Payments will automatically be made around mid-April. If you have filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return, or you receive Social Security or Railroad Benefits, the check will be deposited to your bank account on file.
If you do not have a bank account on file, a check will be mailed to your mailing address on file. If you have moved recently and need to update your address on file to receive your mailed check, notify the IRS to update your address.
If you don’t typically file taxes and have a new dependent, check out this article from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about how to claim the economic impact payment.
Economic Impact Payments belong to recipient, not nursing homes or care facilities.
For more information about Economic Impact Payments, visit the IRS website on the topic.
The California Lawyers Association has created a video explaining the Tax Implications and Eligibility of Benefits Under the CARES Act.