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It’s a Trap!: Virginians should either file their federal tax returns prior to May 1 or request an extension

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service recently announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

All the major news outlets are reporting about this COVID-19 emergency extension.

However, Virginians should not be lulled into complacency.  Although Virginia has granted a one-month extension for payment of individual and corporate state income taxes, these tax returns are still due May 1. Because the calculation of Virginia income tax is based largely on the computations of federal tax items, it would be impractical to file Virginia tax returns by the May 1st deadline without also filing your federal tax returns by that date. For Virginians, this effectively reduces the 90-day federal extension to a 15-day extension.

In the event that the COVID-19 crisis (or other circumstances) significantly delays your ability to file your federal tax return, the prudent course of action is to file for an automatic extension of your federal and Virginia tax returns.

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