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During the COVID-19 pandemic the LSNJ Hotline will remain open during its normal business hours. Our Hotline staff will be working remotely and you may encounter delays when calling.


LEGAL TOPICS
Taxpayer Rights and the COVID-19 Virus
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The IRS has made several changes to assist taxpayers who might be facing difficulties during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are some of the key provisions. Please continue to check our website for updates, or visit www.IRS.gov/coronavirus for more detailed information.

Filing Deadline Changes

The federal tax filing deadline has been moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. This includes IRS forms Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, 1040-NR-EZ, 1040-PR, 1040-SS. For a complete list, go to https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/payment-deadline-extended-to-july-15-2020.

  • You are still free to file your return at any time, and if you are expecting a refund you should finish your 2019 tax returns now. See below for information regarding free filing services.
  • You don’t need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic Federal tax filing and payment relief.

Estimated Quarterly Taxes First Quarter Payments Extended

If you are self-employed and pay estimated income taxes quarterly, your first quarter taxes are now due July 15, 2020. However, your second quarter estimated taxes are still due June 15, 2020. This page will be updated with any changes.

Extensions beyond July 15

If you anticipate that you will be unable to file your income tax return by the July 15, 2020 date, you should request a filing extension by that date. The easiest and fastest way to request an extension is to electronically file Form 4868 at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf

Closure of Many VITA and TCE Sites

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) are programs that provide free tax return preparation for low income taxpayers. They are both closed for an undetermined period of time. Please continue to check our website for updates, or visit www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers for more detailed information.

You can electronically file your return for free at: www.myfreetaxes.com. This service, however, only applies to simple returns.

Extension of Time To Pay

If you owe money to the IRS for 2019, payments that would be would normally be due on April 15, 2020 are now due on July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.

Levies and Liens Suspended

If you owe back taxes, and your account is in collections, the IRS has announced they are stopping some enforcement action. This includes levies upon financial accounts, wage garnishments, or filing of liens until further notice. The only exception is LP68 Notices, which advise a taxpayer that a levy has been released and that they no longer need to turn over money or property to pay back taxes.

US Tax Court Cases

The tax court building in Washington, DC is closed. Tax court personnel are working remotely. The eAccess and eFiling systems remain operational and the court will continue to process items received electronically, serve orders and opinions, enter and serve decisions, work with litigants, and receive telephone calls. Mail is not being delivered to the court until the building reopens. Taxpayers should comply with statutory deadlines for filing petitions or notices of appeal by timely mailing a petition or notice of appeal to the court. Petitions and other documents may not be hand-delivered to the court. New Jersey trials scheduled for June 8, 2020 in NYC have been cancelled. More information is available at www.ustaxcourt.gov.

IRS Operations Continue

Tax returns, issuance of refunds, and other help for taxpayers continues, even though operations are limited. This may result in longer hold times when trying to reach the IRS for assistance. The IRS customer service line is 1 (800) 829-1040. You can still go to www.IRS.gov for information on your refund status, or to request a payment plan or transcript.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers

The IRS has temporarily closed all taxpayer assistance centers and discontinued face-to-face service throughout the country until further notice.

Different Deadlines Apply to New Jersey State Tax Returns

The July 15, 2020 extension only applies to federal income tax returns and tax payments otherwise due April 15, 2020, not your NJ state return, tax payments or deposits. Therefore, your NJ State Tax Return is still due April 15 2020. This page will be updated to reflect any changes.

COVID-19 and the NJ Division of Taxation

Through March 31, all walk-in services at the Division of Taxation and regional offices will be remain open. Staff is limited, however, and you may experience longer wait times in response to phone, email, and letter inquiries. You may file your NJ State return for free at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/filing01.shtml.

When can I expect a stimulus check?

At this time, the IRS does not yet have any information regarding stimulus or payment checks. Please continue to check our website for updates.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Are Here for You

If you are experiencing a tax problem or have tax-related questions, LSNJ’s Tax Legal Assistance Project is here to help. Call us at 1 (888) LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529) or apply online at www.lsnjlawhotline.org. Services are free for those that qualify. ​

3/26/2020
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