Days after the head of the powerful State Senate Budget Committee pushed for a delay, the Murphy Administration announced the date taxes are due has been changed.
Late on Friday March 19, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state income tax filing and payment due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended to May 17 from April 15 to mirror actions taken by the IRS. The extension was made under the authority of the Department of Treasury’s Director of the Division of Taxation.
“As we continue the arduous job of emerging from this pandemic, we are extending this relief to taxpayers in what we know is a very difficult time,” said Gov. Phil Murphy said in a press statement. “Our hope is that the extension gives taxpayers with difficult circumstances, including filings made more complicated by various relief programs and employment changes, the extra the time they may need.”
This extension applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. However, unlike last year, first quarter 2021 individual estimated tax payments are not being extended and will still be due on April 15. No additional forms are required to qualify for this extension.
“It is our hope that this additional time will provide a measure of relief for those who have faced challenges created by the pandemic,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio. “This is exactly the type of emergent situation that our existing statutory authority was designed to address.”
The announcement comes day after North Jersey State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) introduced legislation that would extend the filing and payment deadline for state taxes. Under the bill, a one-month extension was to be granted to taxpayers who are required to file a return or report a gross income tax by April 15. Extra fees, penalties, and interest payments would not accrue during the extension period.
“Now that the IRS is extending its deadline it is important that we act swiftly to align the state and federal timetables,” stated Sarlo, chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “The extension will give taxpayers breathing room to account for all the changes in what is becoming one of the most complicated tax seasons in decades. The multiple federal recovery plans and pandemic-related work changes have disrupted taxpayer circumstances in ways that will likely require revisions to filings and payments.”
Assembly Budget Committee Chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29) added “This has been a challenging year for many New Jersey taxpayers and allowing them more time to file can provide some relief and alleviate some of the stress associated with filing taxes.
According to news reports, the IRS was behind in processing some seven million tax returns when they announced the pushing back of the tax filing deadline. The delay was compounded by the issuance of stimulus checks connected to the American Rescue Plan and other coronavirus relief-related legislation that changed the tax code.
“We want taxpayers to take advantage of every tax benefit they can,” said Sarlo. “During a time of so much economic and financial upheaval, the deadline extensions will provide more certainty and consistency for taxpayers.”