IRS postpones certain deadlines due to COVID-19 emergency
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

IRS postpones certain deadlines due to COVID-19 emergency

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

The IRS is postponing deadlines for certain time-sensitive actions due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. This relief affects:

  • employment taxes;
  • certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs)
  • employee benefit plans;
  • exempt organizations;
  • individual retirement arrangements (IRAs);
  • Coverdell education savings accounts;
  • health savings accounts (HSAs); and
  • Archer and Medicare Advantage medical saving accounts (MSAs).

With certain exceptions, the relief postpones deadlines for certain actions due to be performed on or after March 30, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. The revised deadline for an affected taxpayer to perform a time-sensitive action described in the relief is July 15, 2020, unless a different revised deadline is specified.

Rev. Proc. 2017-18, Rev. Proc. 2017-55, Announcement 2018-5, Rev. Proc. 2019-19, Rev. Proc. 2019-39, and Rev. Proc. 2020-10 are modified, and Notice 2020-18, Notice 2020-20, and Notice 2020-23 are amplified.

Employers and CPEOs. The relief applies to employers who perform correct employment tax reporting errors using the interest-free adjustment process under Code Sec. 6205 and Code Sec. 6413.

For certified professional employer organizations (CPEOs), the relief provides a temporary waiver of the requirement that CPEOs must file certain employment tax returns and their accompanying schedules electronically. The relief for CPEOs applies only to (1) Forms 941 filed for the second, third, and fourth quarter of 2020; and (2) Forms 943 filed for calendar year 2020. CPEOs can, but are not required to, file paper versions of these forms and their schedules. The waiver applies to all CPEOs, and individual waiver requests do not need to be submitted.

Qualified retirement plans. For employee benefit plans (including a section 403(b) plan, a governmental section 457(b) plan, a SEP plan described in section 408(k), or a SIMPLE IRA plan described in section 408(p)), or any sponsor, administrator, participant, beneficiary, disqualified person, or other person with respect to the plan, the relief affects time-sensitive actions such as:

  • applying for a funding waiver under Code Sec. 412 (c) for a defined benefit pension plan that is not a multi employer plan;
  • for multi employer defined benefit pension plans, actions due to be performed on or before the dates in Code Sec. 432(b)(3) for the certification of funded status and the notice to interested parties of that certification, Code Sec. 432(c) (1) and Code Sec. 432(e)(1) for the adoption of, and the notification to the bargaining parties of the schedules under, a funding improvement plan or rehabilitation plan, or Code Sec. 432(c) (6) and Code Sec. 432(e) (3) for the annual update of a funding improvement plan and its contribution schedules, or rehabilitation plan and its contribution schedules, and the filing of those updates with the Form 5500 annual return; and
  • for cooperative and small employer charity pension (CSEC) plans, actions to be performed on or before the dates in Code Sec. 433(c)(9) for making the contribution required to be made for the plan year, Code Sec. 433(f)(3)(B) for making required quarterly installments; Code Sec. 433(j)(3) for the adoption of a funding restoration plan, or Code Sec. 433(j)(4) for the certification of funded status.

For filing Form 5330, Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans, and payment of the associated excise taxes, the period beginning on March 30, 2020, and ending on July 15, 2020, will be disregarded in calculating any interest or penalty for failure to file the Form 5330 or to pay the excise tax postponed under the relief. Interest and penalties with respect to such postponed filing and payment obligations will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.

Other relief related to qualified retirement plans affects:

  • extension of initial remedial amendment period for section 403(b) plans;
  • certain actions affecting pre-approved defined benefit plans;
  • the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS); and
  • requests for approval of a substitute mortality table.

Form 5498 series filers. For filers of Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information, Form 5498-ESA, Coverdell ESA Contribution Information, and the Form 5498-SA, HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA Information, the due date for filing and furnishing the forms is postponed to August 31, 2020, and the period beginning on the original due date of those forms and ending on August 31, 2020, will be disregarded in calculating any penalty for failure to file those forms. Penalties on the postponed filing will begin to accrue on September 1, 2020.

Exempt organizations. For exempt organizations, the relief applies to electronic submissions of Form 990-N under Code Sec. 6033(i), and filing suits for declaratory judgment under Code Sec. 7428. (Notice 2020-35, I.R.B. 2020-25, June 15, 2020).

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