Originally posted on TaxJar's blog and shared with permission. The original post will be updated as new states announce sales tax relief.
In the past, states have been known to give taxpayers more time to file and remit sales tax in the wake of natural disasters or other unforeseen events. With COVID-19 (AKA coronavirus) now officially declared a national emergency, we can be sure that some state governments will give taxpayers leeway when it comes to filing their sales tax returns.
A handful of states have already implemented a tax filing extension and released guidance for taxpayers. If precedent holds, more states will soon follow suit.
Sales Tax Due Dates Extended Due to COVID-19
Alabama will waive sales tax late fees for certain businesses unable to make their February, March and April sales tax payments on time.
Businesses eligible for the waiver include:
- Small businesses (defined as businesses whose monthly retail sales during the previous calendar year averaged $62,500 or less.)
- Businesses engaged in NAICS Sector 72 – Accommodation and Food Services. Find a complete list of business activities that fall into NAICS 72 here.
Late fees will be waived through June 1, 2020.
Read the order from the Alabama Commissioner of Revenue here.
How to claim the extension? This is only an extension on time to pay sales tax. Taxpayers are still required to file their sales tax returns by the original state due dates.
California has, by executive order, pushed back the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19. Read the full executive order here, and the news release here.
How do businesses claim the extension? When e-filing a sales and use tax return, follow the software instructions to enter disaster information. The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will waive interest and any late filing or late payment penalties. Find full instructions on managing the California sales tax filing extension here.
If filing manually, on paper, the FTB has advised writing the name of the state of emergency (in this case, COVID-19) in black ink at the top of the tax return to alert FTB that is qualifies for an extension.
Connecticut sales taxpayers who have $150,000 or less in annual sales tax liability qualify for an extension on time to both file and pay sales tax. (Similarly, those that have $150,000 or less in annual room occupancy tax also qualify for this relief.) To determine if you qualify, calculate your sales tax owed for calendar year 2019. (TaxJar customers can easily do this in the TaxJar app.)
- For monthly filers: Returns and payments due March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are extended to May 31, 2020
- For quarterly filers: Returns and payments due April 30, 2020, are extended to May, 31, 2020
Read more in this news release from the Connecticut Governor’s Office.
How do businesses claim the extension? Connecticut’s extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to act. However, the state will verify that you qualify (by having $150,000 or less in annual sales tax liability during calendar year 2019) and you will be notified in the event that you are denied the extension.
District of Columbia/Washington D.C.
The Washington DC Office of Tax and Revenue will automatically waive interest and late payment penalties for sales and use tax for all businesses (except hotels and motels) for periods ending on February 29, 2020 and Mach 31, 2020. All sales tax due by these periods must be paid in full by July 20, 2020. Any payments not made by this date will be subject to penalties and interest based on the original due date.
Important to note: Hotel and motels allowed to defer real property taxes under separate COVID-19 tax relief provisions are not eligible for this sales tax relief.
How do businesses claim the extension? This is only an extension on time to pay sales tax. Businesses must still file sales tax returns on time through MyTax.DC.gov to receive the extension on time to pay.
The Florida Department of Revenue will waive penalties and interest for Florida taxpayers who were adversely affected by COVID-19.
- February 2020 reporting period (Normally due March 20, 2020): Penalties and fees will be waived for taxpayers unable to file their February 2020 sales and use tax return by the March 20, 2020 deadline as long as the taxes are filed and remitted by March 31, 2020.
- March 2020 reporting period (Normally due April 20, 2020): Penalties and fees will be waived for taxpayers unable to file their March 2020 sales and use tax return by the April 20, 2020 deadline as long as the taxes are filed and remitted by April 30, 2020.
The Florida order defines “adversely affected” by COVID-19 as any of the following conditions:
- The business closed in March 2020 in compliance with a state or local government order issued in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and following the closure had no taxable transactions for the taxes listed above.
- The business experienced sales tax collections in March 2020 that are less than 75% of March 2019 sales tax collections.
- The business was established after March 2019.
- The business is registered with the Department to file quarterly.
You can read Florida’s guidance on sales tax extensions here.
How do businesses claim the extension? This fee and penalty waiver is automatic as long as businesses file and pay their sales tax due by the extended due date.
Illinois is providing “eating and drinking establishments” extended time to pay their sales tax due. Eating and drinking establishments who incurred a total sales tax liability of less than $75,000 in 2019 are eligible for the extension.
This extension allows eligible taxpayers to spread their February, March and April 2020 sales tax payments over four months, as follows:
- One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due May 20, 2020.
- One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due June 22, 2020.
- One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due July 20, 2020.
- One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due August 20, 2020.
Read the detailed sales tax extension FAQ from the Illinois Department of Revenue here.
How do businesses claim the extension? The extension is automatic, but only extends time to pay. Illinois eating and drinking establishments are still required to file their ST-1 Illinois Sales and Use Tax returns by the original due date.
Taxpayers who were slated to file and pay February Louisiana sales tax returns due on March 20, 2020 now have until May 20, 2020 to file and pay.
Fees and penalties will be waived as long as the return is filed by May 20, 2020. Sales tax returns taking advantage of the extension must be submitted either by LATap or by paper filing with the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
Read the bulletin from the Louisiana Department of Revenue here.
How do businesses claim the extension? Louisiana’s extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to act.
Businesses with sales tax, use tax and other business tax due in the months of March, April, and May 2020 may now file those tax returns by June 1, 2020.
According to a press release, “The agency has set up a dedicated email address — email@example.com — to assist businesses with extension-related questions. Business owners can also call the Comptroller’s Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.” Read the entire release at the Comptroller of Maryland website.
How do businesses claim the extension? Maryland’s extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to act.
Massachusetts has announced tax relief on certain taxes, including sales tax, meals tax, and room and occupancy taxes.
All taxes due in March, April and May will now be due on June 20, 2020. All penalties and interest that would otherwise apply will be waived. This waiver only applies to time to pay. Sales tax filers must still file their Massachusetts sales tax returns by the original due dates.
Most businesses who paid less than $150,000 in sales tax plus meal taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for sales and meals tax relief.
However, some businesses are excluded from this tax relief. They are:
- Marijuana retailers
- Marketplace facilitators
- Vendors selling motor vehicles
Read Massachusetts’ guidance for COVID-19 sales tax relief here. (Scroll down to #7).
How do businesses claim the extension? The extension is automatic, but only extends time to pay. Businesses should still file their sales tax returns by the original due dates.
Michigan is waiving late penalties and interest for all sales and use tax payments due March 20, 2020 for 30 days. Any return or payment currently due on March 20, 2020 may be submitted without penalty by April 20, 2020.
Read the notice from the Michigan Department of Treasury here.
How do businesses claim the extension? Michigan’s extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to act.
Businesses identified in Executive Order 20-04 now have until April 20, 2020 to pay applicable sales tax. However, they are still required to file their monthly sales and use tax return by the due date on March 20, 2020. The grace period is only for monthly filers, and only for the March 20th payment.
Businesses with questions or who wish for additional time to file can contact the Minnesota DOR:
Phone: 651-296-6181 or 800-657-3777
Read the notice from the Minnesota Department of Revenue here.
How do businesses claim the extension? Minnesota’s sales tax payment extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to act.
New York taxpayers who failed to file and pay their quarterly sales tax return due on March 20, 2020 will not face penalties or interest if they did not make the payment. (Source) The new due date is May 19, 2020.
Read what the New York Department of Taxation and Finance had to say about the tax relief here.
How do businesses claim the extension? New York taxpayers must visit this website and click “Request Relief” and then enter “COVID-19” in the subject line. Be sure to follow the directions to request abatement of penalties and interest.
North Carolina will waive penalties for taxpayers for the following tax related activities:
- Failure to obtain a license
- Failure to file a return
- Failure to pay tax when due
- Penalties regarding informational returns (Example: “Zero” returns)
This waiver period is for any taxes due (or tax obligations) between March 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020. Penalties will be waived as long as the tax is filed by July 15, 2020.
Read the full statement from the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
How do businesses claim the extension? As of March 31, businesses no longer need to request a waiver. The waiver is now automatic.
However, if a taxpayer receives a proposed assessment of a penalty covered by the relief granted in this notice, the taxpayer should contact the Department by phone at 1-877-252-3052, or by writing to the North Carolina Department of Revenue at: North Carolina Department of Revenue, Customer Service, P.O. Box 1168, Raleigh, NC 27602.
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is waiving penalties for businesses that are required to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments by the deadline of Friday, March 20.
Additionally, for April sales tax payments, the department is waiving the AST prepayment requirement and asking businesses to simply remit the sales tax that they have collected in March.
You can read the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s COVID-19 notice here.
Any South Carolina taxes, including sales and use tax, due between April 1, 2020 and June 1, 2020 will now be due June 1, 2020. You can read the full press release at the South Carolina Department of Revenue website.
How do businesses claim the extension? South Carolina’s extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to act.
The Texas Comptroller is offering assistance to taxpayers who could not remit February 2020 sales tax, which was due on March 20, 2020. The Comptroller’s office states that they will offer short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.
Read what the Texas Comptroller had to say about sales tax relief here.
How do businesses claim this extension? This tax relief is not automatic. Contact the Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 to learn about your options.
The Vermont Department of Taxes has announced that sales tax filers who cannot meet March 25 or April 25 sales tax filing deadlines will not be charged penalties or interest. Taxpayers must file by July 15, 2020 in order to be eligible for interest and penalty relief.
Read Vermont’s news release here.
How do businesses claim the extension? Vermont’s extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to act.
The Virginia Department of Revenue will consider sales tax filing and payment extensions for the February 2020 sales tax return due March 20, 2020. They caution that interest will accrue on payments made after the due date even if an extension is granted.
Read Virginia’s news release here.
How do businesses claim the extension? Virginia dealers should submit a request for extension by utilizing the secure e-mail system available on the Department’s website, by faxing to (804) 254-6111, or writing to the following address: Virginia Tax Office of Customer Services P.O. Box 1115 Richmond, VA 23218-1115
While the sales tax due dates are not changing, the Washington Department of Revenue has informed taxpayers that can request filing extensions or request penalty waivers if their filing is affected by COVID-19. You can read what the Washington Department of Revenue has to say here.
- Monthly filers will receive 60 day extensions.
- Quarterly or annual filers will receive 30 day extensions.
Businesses can request the relief above by sending a secure email in their My DOR account or by calling Washington Revenue’s customer service staff at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How do businesses claim the extension? Businesses can request the relief above by sending a secure email in their My DOR account or by calling Washington Revenue’s customer service staff at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue announced sales tax relief for small businesses.
- Wisconsin businesses can request to pay sales and use tax returns due March 31, 2020 by April 30, 2020 instead.
- Wisconsin businesses can request to pay sales and use tax returns due April 30, 2020 by June 1, 2020 instead
This is only an extension on time to file, not pay. Taxpayers are still required to by Wisconsin law to pay their sales tax amount owed by the original due dates on March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020. However, the notice from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue does mention that this might change if the Wisconsin changes the law to allow for late payments.
How do businesses claim the extension? This extension is not automatic. Businesses must request to file later by sending an email to DORRegistration@wisconsin.gov.
TaxJar will update their blog as more states release news about possible sales tax due date changes.
As always, this blog is for informational purposes only and you should check with your state to ensure that you don’t miss a filing deadline. Also, check your email or mailbox, because states will likely send out communications to registered taxpayers regarding sales tax filing due date changes.
Meanwhile, from TaxJar to you – stay safe and healthy out there.
Please note: This blog is for informational purposes only. Be advised that sales tax rules and laws are subject to change at any time. For specific sales tax advice regarding your business, contact a sales tax expert.
Written By: Jenny Ayres at TaxJar
TaxJar is a leading technology for ecommerce businesses and developers to manage sales tax. As a fully-distributed company, TaxJar was founded to make ecommerce easier for everyone by helping merchants and developers spend less time on sales tax to focus on growing the businesses they love.