IRS Extends Deadline to File Gift Tax Returns

The Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) continues to expand the list of return filing and tax payment deadlines that will be postponed due to the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus. On March 27, 2020, the IRS announced in Notice 2020-20 (the Notice) that the due date for filing Forms 709 (United States Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return), and the payment of any gift or generation-skipping taxes associated therewith, will be automatically postponed from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

Because the relief is automatic, there is no need to make a formal request to the IRS to receive the extended due date. No interest or penalties will be charged during this automatic extension period. In the event a gift tax return cannot be filed by the extended deadline, an affected taxpayer can file a form with the IRS to extend the filing deadline to October 15, 2020. This extension request must be filed no later than July 15, 2020, and all gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes that are due and owing must be paid by this date to avoid interest and penalties.

The Notice quickly followed earlier guidance that similarly extended the deadline for federal income tax returns and payments for individuals, trusts, estates and business entities. It is important to take notice that the relief provided in the Notice does not apply to Form 706 (United States Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return). Unless the IRS provides further guidance, federal estate tax returns must be filed by the original deadline, together with any properly filed extensions.

If you are considering incorporating gifts into your estate plan, or require assistance in reporting gifts that you have already made, please reach out to us. Our experienced team of professionals is here to assist with your estate planning needs during this challenging time.

IRS Notice 2020-20.
IRS Notice 2020-18. 
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