We at Leaffer Law Group understand that everyone has been inundated with coronavirus updates, and we do not wish to add unnecessarily to the noise during this time. However, we feel that it is important to give updates on how the pandemic has impacted the nonprofit sector. In this post we will discuss the virus-related impact on the federal government and the IRS. Our next post will address aspects of disaster-related philanthropy that are so important for stepping in during crises.
Here are the latest federal government happenings related to coronavirus:
- Taxpayers have an additional 90 days, until July 15th, to file returns and make income tax payments. This is a development from an earlier release indicating the filing date was still April 15. However, those expecting a refund are being encouraged to go ahead and file if possible.
- The IRS has closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers.
- The Tax Court has cancelled all cases through the month of April and the Supreme Court has postponed oral arguments scheduled for March as well.
- High-deductible health plans can cover corona virus costs, for details see Notice 2020-15.
According to the Washington Post, senior agency leaders have been asked to put emergency plans in place that designate mission critical activities and implement remote work to the extent possible during the pandemic. In response, the Social Security Administration closed all field and hearing offices on Monday, and the IRS began closing field offices on Tuesday as well. Currently the IRS is still processing tax returns and issuing refunds, but it has signaled that it will be limited in its ability to help taxpayers and recommends checking its coronavirus website for updates on relief efforts and IRS news.
New organizations that have filed a Form 1023, 1023-EZ or other form for recognition of exempt status will likely face additional delays in having their applications processed and reviewed. In addition, earlier this year the IRS moved to a mandatory online filing system for Form 1023s, with a grace period for paper filings ending on April 30. It is uncertain whether the coronavirus situation will impact that change, so unless the IRS indicates otherwise, organizations should proceed with filing online only starting in May.
From all of us socially distancing here at the Leaffer Law Group, we wish you health and safety through this unprecedented and difficult time.