Tax season just got longer again – but how much longer? CPAs should not be in a position of so much uncertainty in late March when the fate of so many filing deadlines remains in the air.

Since the IRS’s announcement of a 2021 tax filing deadline of May 17, many in the profession are saying that decision doesn’t go far enough. Further adjustments of deadlines could be on the horizon – and they would need to come very soon.

SCACPA is responding, along with multiple other state CPA organizations, by working to alert Members of Congress and their staffs about the problem we face today: There are too many different moving parts that have too many different due dates.

No matter the circumstances that cause an extension to tax deadlines, this protocol should be clear: When a tax deadline is shifted, the resolution needs to impact ALL provisions for a deadline and not a subset.

SCACPA understands that in times of crisis, keeping track of tax deadlines becomes a significant distraction. Being flexible and ready for swift changes comes with the territory. But when it comes to tax deadlines, CPAs should not be in a position where they feel they are on a game show waiting for a “Final Answer.”

The May 17 relief deadline does not include estimated tax payments that are due April 15. This IRS extension does not extend to the millions of small business owners and individuals who pay estimated taxes, along with the following:

  • Trust income tax payments and return filings on Form 1041
  • Corporate income tax payments and return filings on various Forms 1120

SCACPA is calling on the Treasury and the IRS to implement our preferred solution: declare that May 17 is the deadline for all tax payments. This would immediately give tax payment and filing relief to all taxpayers.

More than 9.5 million individual returns filed for the 2018 tax year included estimated payments. Failure to include estimated payments nullifies any benefit of a postponement since the tax return work has to be done to calculate estimated payments.

Thus, May 17 should be declared the tax deadline for all tax payments so our CPAs can get to their work of making South Carolina a better place for individuals and businesses.

[The exact wording from the IRS news release: “This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.”]

Note: The South Carolina Department of Revenue has already announced that the state’s tax deadline has been moved to May 17 to align with the IRS. Be on the lookout for an SCDOR information letter that will address the IRS decision and other topics.

For further updates on SCACPA Advocacy, look to the SCACPA blog and our social media. Thank you for your attention and support, and you can know that the Association is working hard to look out for your interests.