This post was originally published March 19, 2020, and was updated with new information March 20, 2020.
Things are changing rapidly for the freelance community, and this includes tax payment deadlines. While the IRS is working on comprehensive tax relief measures to address the enormous impact of COVID-19, here are the immediate changes all freelancers need to be aware of:
1. The IRS has extended the filing deadline for federal taxes and first quarter estimated taxes until July 15 without penalty or interest.
2. Changes to the filing deadlines for individual states have not been announced. They may change, but are dependent on each state's own actions. Be sure to check your state’s status to avoid late filing penalties.
This situation is rapidly evolving, so watch for additional updates. Even though the filing deadline has been moved until July 15, since many of us have more time at home right now, this is the ideal opportunity to proceed with getting your taxes ready to be filed.
Being proactive with your taxes allows you to be strategic, regardless of whether you will have a liability or refund. If you do have a liability, it is best to know how much you owe as soon as possible so you can budget to pay on time. If you are owed a refund, filing now will expedite getting the money back in your pocket.
Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-employed individuals across the country. He offers a free consultation to members of Freelancer’s Union* and a monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues to freelancers on his website, http://www.cpaforfreelancers.com— which also features a new blog, how-to articles, and a comprehensive freelance tax guide.
*Jonathan is happy to provide an initial consultation to freelancers. To qualify for a free consultation you must be a member of the Freelancers Union and mention this article upon contacting him. Please note that this offer is not available March 1 through April 18 and covers a general conversation about tax responsibilities of a freelancer and potential deductions. These meetings do not include review of self-prepared documents, review of self-prepared tax returns, or the review of the work of other preparers. The free meeting does not include the preparation or review of quantitative calculations of any sort. He is happy to provide such services but would need to charge an hourly rate for his time.