Public Statement: Extend Massachusetts’ Income Tax Filing Deadline

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Being Consistent with the Extended Federal Deadline Is in the Public Interest

The consequences for the state budget may be significant, but the impact of not providing tax relief consistent with federal actions may be more severe. The Internal Revenue Service extended the income tax return filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.

Taxpayers already hit with declining paychecks and retirement accounts should not bear the additional interest and penalties stemming from an inability to meet the April 15 deadline, especially when their inability to make those filings in a timely way is largely due to compliance with Coronavirus containment strategies promoted by health officials and governments at all levels. Additionally, given the current economic crisis, money that would be going to the state could instead be used for life’s necessities and work to keep the local economy afloat during the extension period until payments are due in July.

Many rely on tax professionals, lawyers, and others to prepare or provide the information necessary to file their tax returns. Often, a taxpayer will compile a “shoebox” of receipts and cancelled checks, which s/he leaves with a local accountant to sort through and create the tax return. That physical process could actually be dangerous in present circumstances.

Massachusetts’ 2019 Form 1, the state’s income tax return form, includes five items that are drawn from the U.S. 2019 1040. Thus, if Massachusetts does not piggyback on the federal postponement, then taxpayers will effectively have to complete the federal return by April 15, which would be a huge disappointment at this point, although any additional federal taxes due could be postponed until July 15. Additionally, having different deadlines for federal and state taxes create significant inefficiencies for individuals and tax practitioners alike who for decades have filed both returns at the same time.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department recognized this burden and extended the deadline. They took it a step further, saying first quarter estimated payments normally due on April 15, would be due on July 15th. Additionally, the agency urged those who would be seeking tax refunds to file as early as possible so they can receive the benefit of having more cash on hand as their paychecks erode.

We do not believe that Massachusetts should simply ask individuals to exercise the option of filing for extensions. To file an extension, one must have the means to estimate his or her liability and pay at least 80 percent of it by April 15, and many taxpayers rely on their accountants or other tax professionals to file their extensions, raising many of the same issues noted above.

By not extending the filing deadline, Massachusetts is an anomaly. According to the Tax Foundation, 34 of the 41 states that tax income have extended their deadlines. The Commonwealth should be among them.

Below is a state-by-state guide as of March 25, 2020 courtesy of the Tax Foundation:

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

Related Posts:

Boston Uni.’s Dr. Charles Glenn on School Choice, Civil Rights, & Espinoza

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dr. Charles Glenn, Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Boston University. Dr. Glenn shares his early experiences in the Civil Rights movement, and how it inspired his work to expand school choice, as well as his thoughts on the Espinoza Supreme Court case's impact on racial justice and religious liberty.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: COVID & Air Conditioning; NEW: PPP Loan Tracker; COVID Nursing Home Task Force; Hubwonk: Fixing Foster Care; UMass' Unique Re-opening Plans & more!

/
Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

PPP Loan Tracker

/
To advance transparency regarding public funds, Pioneer Institute developed this Paycheck Protection Plan Loan Tracker. This web tool allows you to track PPP loans by recipient, lender, location, industry, and loan range. According to this data, from the Small Business Administration, 18,177 Massachusetts small businesses received PPP loans, which the companies claim retained 738,613 jobs.

One UMass System, Different Reopening Plans

/
One UMass System, Different Reopening Plans On March 11, UMass…

Foster Family Fixes: Serving Our Most Vulnerable Children with Foster Care Reform

/
Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Senior Healthcare Fellow Josh Archambault as they discuss specific reforms that could improve the current foster care system. Josh shares findings from his recent research, as well as his experiences as a foster parent himself.

Bringing Back Youth Soccer Amidst COVID-19

/
For decades, organized youth soccer has been a staple for teaching…

Pioneer Urges Future COVID-19 Study and Recommendations Task Force to Consider Impact on Nursing Home Residents

After over 5,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Massachusetts nursing homes, Pioneer Institute is issuing an open letter to the state’s future COVID-19 health equity task force that outlines an extensive list of recommendations on infection control and preparedness in eldercare facilities.

Open Letter: COVID-19 Study and Recommendations Task Force Established Pursuant to Massachusetts Bill H.4672

Pioneer hopes the members of this important task force will be appointed as soon as possible and that they will look into recommendations to address Covid-19 among the aged and in the state’s nursing homes. Read our Open Letter.

U-Arkansas Prof. Patrick Wolf on School Choice, Espinoza, & Students’ Civic Prep

/
U-Arkansas Prof. Patrick Wolf joins The Learning Curve to discuss school choice, the Supreme Court's Espinoza case, & students’ civic preparation.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Hope for a vaccine; Open Meeting violations; Holyoke Soldiers Home report; COVID & foster care; Re-opening the beaches; the fate of college towns; COVID's economic toll on Bay State cities & more!

/
Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.