Paying Attention to Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19 – Trusts & Estates Edition

April 2020

The IRS and Minnesota Department of Revenue have announced extensions to certain tax return filing and tax payment deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, these deadlines mirror each other, but they sometimes diverge. Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Revenue will almost always revise a particular Minnesota tax filing and payment deadline only after the IRS announces a revised federal tax filing and payment deadline. Sometimes this can take a day or two, other times it can take a week or longer, with the latter likely being the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. What follows is a summary of selected tax return filing and payment deadlines in effect as of the date of this writing which illustrates some slight differences between federal and Minnesota tax filing and payment deadlines. Be aware that these deadlines could change and you should always carefully determine whether a particular tax filing or payment extension is applicable to your particular situation. Individuals must consult with their tax advisors to discuss their tax situation.

Selected Tax Return Filing Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19

Federal Minnesota
Individual
Income Tax
Return
July 15, 2020 (can request an extension to October 15, 2020, if extension filed on or before July 15, 2020). July 15, 2020 (can obtain an extension to October 15, 2020, if federal extension timely filed (Minnesota does not have separate extension filing).
Gift
Tax Return
July 15, 2020 (can request an extension to October 15, 2020, if extension filed on or before July 15, 2020). N/A – Minnesota repealed gift tax in 2014.
Estate
Tax Return
Federal estate tax return is due 9 months after a decedent’s death and if this 9 month period falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020, the estate tax return is now due July 15, 2020 (can request a 6-month extension on or before July 15, 2020, which will only result in a 6-month extension from when the return would have been due had COVID-19 not occurred). Minnesota estate tax return is due 9 months after a decedent’s death and if this 9 month period falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020, the estate tax return is now due July 15, 2020 (Minnesota grants an automatic 6-month extension after the initial 9 months, which will only result in a 6-month extension from when the return would have been due had COVID-19 not occurred).
Income
Tax Return for Estates and Trusts (Federal)
/ Fiduciary Tax Return (Minnesota)
July 15, 2020, if estate/trust files on a calendar year.
July 15, 2020, if estate/trust files on a fiscal year and the 15th day of the 4th month following the end of the fiscal year falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020 (fiscal year estates/trusts can obtain a 3-month extension on or before July 15, 2020, which will only result in a 3-month extension from when the return would have been due had COVID-19 not occurred).
July 15, 2020, if estate/trust files on a calendar year (which can be extended to October 15, 2020, if estate/trust timely paid fiduciary tax which was due April 15, 2020). July 15, 2020, if estate/trust files on a fiscal year and the 15th day of the 4th month of the fiscal year falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020 (fiscal year estates/trusts can obtain a 6-month automatic extension from the date the fiduciary tax return would have been due had COVID-19 not occurred if estate/trust timely pays the fiduciary tax).

Selected Tax Payment Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19

Please note that while additional filing extensions may be available in some instances by filing another form with the taxing authority or automatically by paying the tax on-time, requesting a payment extension is never possible without penalties and interest being added to the amount not paid by the applicable deadline. Thus, what follows are absolute deadlines to avoid additional penalties and interest.

Federal Minnesota
Individual Income
Tax Payment (2019)
July 15, 2020 July 15, 2020
Individual
Income Estimated
Tax Payment (2020)
1st and 2nd Quarter 2020 due July 15, 2020 No extension. 1st Quarter 2020 estimated tax payment was due April 15, 2020 and 2nd Quarter 2020 estimated tax payment is due July 15, 2020.
Gift Tax Payment (2019) July 15, 2020 N/A – Minnesota repealed gift tax in 2014.
Estate
Tax Payment
Federal estate tax payment is due 9 months after a decedent’s death but if this 9-month period falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020, estate tax payment is due July 15, 2020. Minnesota estate tax payment is due 9 months after a decedent’s death but if this 9-month period falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020, estate tax payment is due July 15, 2020.
Income
Tax Payment for Estates and Trusts (Federal)
/ Fiduciary Tax Payment (Minnesota)
If estate/trust files an income tax return for estates and trusts on a calendar year, 2019 payment is due July 15, 2020. If estate/trust files return on a fiscal year, payment is due on the 15th day of the 4th month following the fiscal year (if this falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 15, 2020, the due date is July 15, 2020). No extension. If estate/trust files fiduciary return on a calendar year, 2019 payment was due April 15, 2020. If estate/trust files return on a fiscal year, payment is due on the 15th day of the 4th month following the end of the fiscal year.

As illustrated above, the IRS and Minnesota Department of Revenue have taken steps to ease tax filing and payment obligations in certain instances but because their filing and payment extensions frequently diverge, it is easy to make a mistake or overlook an important deadline. The best advice is to file and pay taxes as if the taxing authority had not extended any deadline that may affect you.

Aside from that, if you need assistance with analyzing your particular tax situation, including your tax filing and payment obligations, please contact Nate Haynor at nathan.haynor@fmjlaw.com or Karen Schlotthauer at karen.schlotthauer@fmjlaw.com.