The AICPA was pretty damn confident the Treasury Department and the IRS would extend the April 15 filing deadline for individuals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so confident that the AICPA told CPAs in an emailed message last weekend that they anticipated this week that Tax Day would be extended by 90 days and that penalties and interest would be waived. Well, they got the waiving of penalties and interest part right. But the filing deadline wasn’t extended. This made the AICPA very unhappy.
In a written statement on March 18, AICPA President, CEO, and Sith Lord Barry Melancon said:
“On Monday, we learned that the administration is allowing certain taxpayers to delay tax payments for 90 days and is providing interest and penalty relief, and today it released its formal notice. Unfortunately, this important payment relief does not apply to the filing of tax returns. The concern and confusion related to coronavirus is causing cities across the country to shut businesses down, and Treasury’s recent decisions do not reflect the real-world difficulties tax practitioners and their clients are experiencing.
“The AICPA understands the need for economic stimulus and, if possible, those who can file and get refunds should do so now. However, it is impossible for every taxpayer and their tax adviser to prepare returns in this environment. Nearly 60% of all taxpayers turn to a tax practitioner to prepare and file their tax returns, and individual and business tax filing deadlines are fast approaching. Even the relatively simple process of filing an extension form requires calculations based on data and information from the taxpayer. Given the current environment, this extension process is impossible for many taxpayers. Treasury must act immediately by extending the April 15th filing deadline and providing more clarity on the details of recent relief actions.”
Now, the AICPA has given CPAs the order to attack the email inbox of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Several people on Twitter and Reddit have posted this update they received from the AICPA yesterday:
We are calling on the Department of the Treasury to immediately give taxpayers an extension of the April 15th filing deadline — and we need your help.
Please email Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin today at firstname.lastname@example.org. To save you time, you can copy and paste this draft email:
Dear Sec. Mnuchin:
Treasury must act immediately by extending the April 15th filing deadline to July 15.
Unfortunately, the important payment relief that was announced Tuesday and formalized in today’s notice does not apply to the filing of tax returns and does not reflect the real-world difficulties tax practitioners and their clients are facing.
Cities across the country are having to shut businesses down because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it is impossible for every taxpayer and their tax adviser to prepare returns in this environment.
Nearly 60% of all taxpayers turn to a tax practitioner to prepare and file their tax returns, and individual and business tax filing deadlines are fast approaching. We need immediate action.
We understand that these are uncertain and challenging times for the Treasury Department, and the CPA profession wants to help the system function well. To do that, we need payment and filing relief together.
Once more for the people in the back: email@example.com.