Utah State Tax Commission postpones 2019 tax filing deadline

Utah State Tax Commissioners approved adjustments to tax filing and payment deadlines for individuals and business entities during its Commission meeting. The adjustments are in response to the actions taken by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in response to COVID-19, Novel coronavirus.

The Commission unanimously passed an emergency rule waiving interest and penalties for late filed 2019 tax returns and payments of Corporations and Pass through entities such as LLCs.  To receive this adjustment, these returns and payments have to be filed no later than July 15, 2020.  The Commission also confirmed that by Utah statute, individuals will have the same time to file and pay their 2019 taxes as provided by the IRS, which is also July 15, 2020.  Interested parties and tax practitioners are encouraged to go the Tax Commission Website and review the meeting materials reflecting the official action of the Commission.

With regard to possibly extending the deadline for submitting sales taxes, Commissioner John Valentine indicated in the Tax Commission meeting in response to a question from the public, that the Tax Commission had not taken an official position on this request.  He questioned the Commission’s statutory authority to grant this request and indicated that the Governor may have to call a Special Session of the State Legislature to provide the legal authority and direction to extend the deadline for sales tax remittances.

Also, during the meeting, Executive Director Scott Smith reported that 59% of tax commission employees were telecommuting. He said all tax commission call centers are open and have taken almost 14,000 calls in the first three days of this week.

State and federal income tax refunds are also being fulfilled quickly. Director Smith cited his own daughter’s example of receiving her refunds within 8 days of her filing a complete return. Commissioner Valentine encouraged taxpayers who are able to file and pay their taxes when due, to do so.

Finally, some procedural changes were announced at the Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices around the state in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The offices are allowing 10-people at a time in the building and, as weather permits, people are asked to wait outside.  Most state-run DMV offices are open with the exception of the Vernal and Richfield offices which are closed at this time.