The last few weeks have been a time of significant change and hardship in this country which has thrown us all for a loop. With COVID-19 impacting everything from travel and our ability to leave our homes, to appointments made with the eye doctor, optometrists across the entire United States are beginning to feel the economic impact of this pandemic.
Incredibly, this all happened right in the middle of tax season. In this article, we’ll provide some guidance and the most up-to-date information relating to your tax filings.
Before going into detail, here’s a summary of the events that have occurred and the decisions and guidelines provided by the IRS up to this point:
- March 20th - Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that Tax Day would be moved from April 15th to July 15th and moved the deadline for both filing and payment of federal taxes to July 15th.
- March 17th - The IRS sent out Notice 2020-17 “Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic” announcing that the deadline for payment of outstanding balances would be postponed until July 15th.
Summary of Notice 2020-17
- Any outstanding balance on your tax return does not have to be paid until July 15th
- All penalties and interest that would have been owed will be waived
- 2020 Estimated Tax Payments will now be due on July 15th as opposed to April 15th
For optometrists or optometry practice owners, this means that the government has not necessarily provided any tax refund or discounts with this announcement. Rather, it has simply pushed back the dates by which payments may be owed.
Additionally, if you are required to file 2020 estimates, the first payment for those estimates has been pushed back 3 months to July 15th. Interest and penalties on payments will begin on July 16th, rather than on April 16th.
Overall, the guidance and relief for tax and tax returns is minimal at this point, simply providing a filing extension and mitigation of penalties for 3 months.
NOTE: This is not guidance for your state tax returns. Rather, this is guidance for your federal return.
However, many states—including California—are extending their tax filing and payment deadlines to match the federal tax extension. In a March 20th press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York indicated that the new federal guidelines should be followed for New Yorkers filing their taxes, but the New York State Tax Department has issued no statement as of the time of writing indicating whether the state deadline will be extended or not.
I will continue to provide you with updates as more information comes available and guidance changes (which is very likely).
The author of the content you just read put in a lot of work to provide you with this article. Even though we try our best, there is no guarantee the article is error free. CovalentCareers, its sponsors, advertisers, staff and writers make no representation, warranty, or guarantee that this article and its contents are error-free and will bear no responsibility or liability for the results or consequences of the information contained within.
As always, this is meant to serve as a guide. Please consult an accountant or tax professional if you have any doubts or concerns.
CovalentCareers is committed to supporting optometrists and optometry students during the Coronavirus pandemic. For more optometry-specific resources and information, visit our Optometry COVID-19 Resource Center.