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Coronavirus pushes back tax day: How to get an extension to July 15

What you need to know about deferring your state and federal taxes for 2019 beyond April 15.

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You can defer your federal tax payment by July 15 without penalty.

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

If dealing with the effects of coronavirus has put you behind schedule for preparing and paying your taxes this year, the US Treasury will give you 91 more days to pay your federal taxes without a penalty. You'll now have until July 15 to file your tax returns, whether you're an individual, trust and estate, corporation and other noncorporation. You can also request an extension beyond July 15.

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Along with the federal government, some state tax agencies are exploring moving their tax filing deadline past the annual April 15 due date to help people and businesses destabilized by the COVID-19 outbreak. The federal government is also sending coronovirus stimulus checks to help those struggling under the epidemic.

Read more: Best tax software for 2020

Here's what we know about deferring your federal tax payment and how to discover if your state is also moving its deadline.

What are the new federal tax deadlines?

You now have till July 15 to pay your federal taxes, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week during a press conference. The new three-month extension is available to any federal taxpayer, without a limit on amount owed, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations, noncorporations and those who pay self-employment tax. When first announced, the three-month extension was available only to taxpayers who owed $1 million or less and businesses that owed $10 million or less.

Is there a penalty for paying by July 15?

No. As long as you meet the July 15 payment deadline, you won't be penalized.

How do I get the federal tax extension as an individual taxpayer?

According to the IRS, you don't have to do anything to qualify for the July 15 extension, such as filing a form or calling the IRS. If, however, you need to request an extension beyond July 15, head to the IRS free-file service and file Form 4868. According to the IRS, with Form 4868, you still have to pay estimated taxes by July 15 to avoid penalties but have till Oct. 15 to file your tax return. The Department of the Treasury was not immediately available to comment.

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Can I still file my federal tax return before April 15?

Absolutely. The Treasury Secretary said that while you can defer to July, you can file by April 15 to get your tax refund sooner if one is coming. The IRS said it issues most tax refunds within 21 days. Right now, the IRS is open and processing tax returns, but it has closed its Taxpayer Assistance Centers, where you could get help in person with tax questions. 

As a business, can I also defer my payment?

Yes. Businesses can also get the July 15 extension to pay taxes without interest or penalties. According to the IRS, businesses can file Form 7004 to request a deferral beyond July 15 to file. With Form 7004, businesses still need to pay estimated taxes by July 15 to avoid penalties but have till October 15 to file. The Treasury was not immediately available for comment.

Where can I find out more information?

To see the federal tax updates, you can check the IRS's coronavirus site.

Can I request an extension for filing my state tax returns?

Depends on which state you live in. A growing number of states have announced they will extend the filing deadline for individuals or businesses affected by coronavirus. California, for example, is letting residents delay filing and paying state taxes until June 15 if they can't meet the April 15 deadline. 

Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington and other states are also looking at ways to help residents businesses delay filing their taxes without a penalty if they have been affected by coronavirus. 

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has a running list of states making accommodations for residents for filing taxes. If you have questions, check with your state's tax agency to see what it has planned.

If you need help filing your state and federal taxes, here are the tax-preparation apps this year and how to file your taxes for free. Plus, here are the best tax deductions and tax myths you should watch out for.