Client Memorandum – Tax Deadlines and Other Relief
March 26, 2020
This Update deals with business and tax issues unique to COVID-19. The IRS and Oregon
Department of Revenue have modified certain filing and payment deadlines, and businesses may
be subject to new paid sick leave requirements and have the opportunity to use tax credits under
the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
As you know, events and the response of local, state and federal governments are changing rapidly; this Update reflects what we know as of March 26, 2020.
Federal Income Tax Filing and Payment Obligation Deadline.
Any federal income tax payments or federal income tax returns that would otherwise be
due April 15, 2020 are now due July 15, 2020. Note that there is no limit on the amount of
payments that can be postponed. This includes the self-employment tax that is usually also
reported on an individual income tax return for a self-employed person. Information returns (for
example, W-2s and 1099s) are still due as usual. No extension has been announced for estate or
gift tax returns.
Oregon Tax Returns and Payment Obligation Deadline.
On March 24, 2020, the Oregon Department of Revenue issued an Order extending the Oregon
personal income tax, transit self-employment tax, and fiduciary tax return filing and payment
deadlines from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Estimated tax payment requirements for tax year
2020 and Corporate Activity Tax deposits are not extended.
The Oregon return filing and payment due dates for Corporate Excise/Income Taxpayers is
extended from May 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Fiscal year returns and payments due after May
15, 2020 are not extended at this time.
New Payroll Tax Credit relating to Paid Sick Leave.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed on March 18, 2020. 1 The Act requires
employers to provide a new form of paid sick leave. While, certain provisions may not apply to
certain employers with fewer than 50 employees, or with more than 500 employees, there is a proposal for small business loans for businesses with no more than 500 employees for payroll,
rent, and utilities expenses. The proposed loans may be eligible to be completely forgiven for
certain expenses if the employer does not lay off employees or decrease salaries.
Employers must offer paid sick leave to employees who are under a quarantine or isolation order,
medical advice to self-quarantine, have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking medical attention,
are caring for someone who is under order or advice to quarantine, are caring for a child due to
school/daycare closure, or other similar conditions 2 . The cost of this sick leave is offset 100% by
a refundable payroll tax credit that offsets the employer’s share of Social Security/Medicare
taxes (the 6.2%/1.45% of wages paid).
The law calls for guidance so that employers can immediately stop making these payroll tax
deposits to the extent that they expect to have credits to offset. To the extent that the leave an
employer pays exceeds what their liability for the payroll tax would have been, employers may
claim a refund, presumably on the quarterly 941 return.
Possible Accommodations by Local Utility Providers
Local government and utility providers appear to be providing some accommodations to lessen
the impact of COVID-19. The Portland Water Bureau, Pacific Power, Comcast and potentially
others are temporarily suspending disconnections and/or making other adjustments to make sure
that essential services continue.
A full list of telephone and internet service providers who have taken the FCC’s “Keep
Americans Connected” is available here: https://www.fcc.gov/keep-americans-connected.
We’re happy to work with you to sort out what date filings are due for you or your business and
what tax credits may be available to your business. If you’d like advice or suggestions on how to
navigate these swiftly changing tax issues and business obligations, we’re here. Please call or
email us with your questions about tax matters related to COVID-19 or any other business issues.
We know these are difficult times – we’re here to help in any way we can.
Take care and stay safe.