Following the declaration of a national emergency on March 13th, the U.S. Treasury Secretary stated at a press conference on March 17th that individual taxpayers would be permitted to defer tax payments up to $1 million for 90 days and corporations would be able to defer tax payments of up to $10 million for 90 days. Yesterday, in Notice 2020-17, the IRS provided some details concerning this emergency relief. Of particular note are the following provisions: 

  • the relief applies only to federal income tax payments (including estimated income tax payments for 2020 and payments of tax on self-employment income) that are due April 15, 2020 (such payments may be postponed to July 15, 2020), and no other type of Federal tax or the filing of any tax return or information return may be postponed pursuant to this relief (although an individual taxpayer, for example, can get an automatic extension until October 15 to file his/her tax return);
  • the $10,000,000 limitation is applicable to each consolidated group of corporations and each C corporation that does not join in filing a consolidated return;
  • the $1,000,000 limitation applies to other taxpayers regardless of their filing status;
  • the April 15 – July 15, 2020 postponement period will be disregarded by the IRS in calculating any interest, penalty or addition to tax to which a taxpayer would otherwise be subject for failure to pay federal income tax up to such taxpayer's maximum allowable postponement amount during this period;

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