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In order to provide taxpayer relief in light of COVID-19, the IRS has postponed filing and payment deadlines for more taxpayers.

In April, Notice 2020-23 provided “affected taxpayers” with deadlines on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, with an extension until July 15, 2020 to file returns and to make tax payments without penalties or interest. New Notice 2020-35 expands the definition of “affected taxpayer” to include those who perform specified time-sensitive actions. Affected taxpayers now include plan sponsors, administrators, participants, and beneficiaries.

The notice specifies time-sensitive actions, mostly with a July 15, 2020 deadline:

  • Correction of employment tax reporting errors using the interest-free adjustment process.
  • Filing Form 5330, Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans, and payment of the associated excise taxes.
  • Defined benefit pension plans: application for a funding waiver.
  • Multiemployer defined benefit pension plans: certification of funding status and notice to interested parties; adoption of, and notification to, the bargaining parties of a funding improvement plan or rehabilitation plan; annual update of a funding improvement plan or rehabilitation plan and their contribution schedules, and the filing of those updates with the Form 5500 annual return.
  • Cooperative and small employer charity pension plans (CSEC plans): making contributions and quarterly installments, adopting a funding restoration plan, and certifying funding status.
  • IRS employee plans programs: extension of initial remedial amendment period for 403(b) plans to June 30, 2020 (instead of March 31, 2020); extension of pre-approved defined benefit plans action to July 31, 2020; implementation of all corrective actions under a voluntary correction program compliance statement; request for approval of a substitute mortality table.
  • Exempt organizations: electronic submissions of Form 990-N; time for commencing a suit for declaratory judgment.
  • Form 5498: Filing and furnishing Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information, Form 5498-ESA, Coverdell ESA Contribution Information, and Form 5498-SA, HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA Information, to August 31, 2020

Notice 2020-35 does not postpone any deadlines for Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return. Therefore, employers must continue to file Form 941 each quarter by the normally applicable deadline.


Mary Bachinger

Director, Tax Policy


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