tax relief nyClearly, COVID-19 is the center of everyone’s attention right now. As a country, we’re all worried about what this virus is doing and what it means for our lives. Aside from the obvious health implications, COVID-19 has also impacted us financially. Businesses are suffering economically, as our individuals. Consequently, the federal and local governments are doing all they can to provide some sort of tax relief. In the state of New York, there are currently a few measures in place to be aware of.

COVID tax relief in NY will be in place to help both businesses and individuals deal with the financial implications of this deadly virus. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know:

Changes to tax return dates

There have been two major changes to the tax return dates for individuals in New York. Firstly, the due date for filing federal income tax has been extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. This provides you with an extra three months to get all of your federal tax in order. Alongside this, the New York State Budget Director also moved the due date for filing New York State income tax returns to July 15, 2020.

Any tax payments that were due on April 15, 2020, can now be deferred to the new date. Furthermore, you won’t be penalized or forced to pay interest in these payments.

Sales tax waivers

Anyone in the state of New York that had to pay sales tax would’ve been required to make payments by March 20, 2020. Obviously, this date has already been passed and it hasn’t been extended or changed. However, penalty interest may be waived for quarterly and annual filers if payments weren’t made on time thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. You can request relief for this online to see if you qualify for the waiver.

NYC Real Property Transfer Tax waivers

If you have to pay NYC Real Property Transfer Tax, then there is a waiver in place for late filings on returns due between March 15 and April 25, 2020. You won’t receive any penalty fees for making a late payment at this time. However, as of writing this, any interest on late payments will not be waived and will still have to be paid.

Altering scheduled payments

A lot of you may already have scheduled payments set up for tax returns. This means that you’ve agreed to make regular payments at specific intervals throughout the tax year. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be unable to keep up with these payments. Thankfully, the state of New York is making changes to accommodate people in this position.

If you’ve already calculated your tax return and set up a direct debit for April 15, 2020 – but fear you cannot afford the payment at that time – then you can cancel it and reschedule the payment for the new tax date of July 15, 2020. This can easily be done online by accessing your tax return account.

Alternatively, if you are unable to make a regularly scheduled payment thanks to COVID-19, then you can call the Tax Department to discuss this. It’s recommended that you have your Social Security number or EIN to make the call go smoother.

Payroll tax credits for employers

If you are an employer with a small/medium-sized business that has under 500 employees, then you are entitled to refundable payroll tax credit by the New York State government. This is specifically to cover payments for employees that are unable to work due to sickness or family leave.

Naturally, there are requirements that must be met to qualify for this tax relief:

  • For sick pay credits, the employees must be under self-quarantine at the advice of a healthcare professional, under a federal isolation order, or show signs of COVID-19 with a medical diagnosis. Therefore, it doesn’t cover instances where an employee is sick for a reason not relating to COVID.
  • For family leave credits, the employees must be unable to work due to caring for family members directly affected by the virus. This obviously includes family members with the virus, but also children who are at home because their schools have closed. If an employee is unable to work because of this, then you can claim tax relief credits to pay them.

These credits are only available for payments for up to ten days of wages paid per employee per quarter. There’s a maximum of $200 per day for family leave credits, and a maximum of $511 per day for sick leave credits.

Recovery rebate credits

This doesn’t solely affect New York, but it is still well worth mentioning if you’re looking for COVID tax relief in NY. With this law, all US resident individuals are eligible for the full $1200 tax rebate. You are also eligible for an extra $500 per qualifying child, provided this child has a social security number or adoption taxpayer identification number.

Of course, there are some key requirements that you need to meet to be eligible for recovery rebate credits:

  • You must be a US resident
  • You must file the tax return as an individual – married couples can file for one each
  • You need to have adjusted gross income of up to $75000 ($150000 for married couples)

Future COVID-19 tax relief for New York

As of right now, these are the main things to be aware of with regards to COVID tax relief in NY. The most significant steps have been the extension of the tax year and the waiving of certain penalty fees and interest. There have been calls by the New York State speaker to introduce further tax relief for the people of this state. However, it’s impossible to predict what this might be and when it may come into effect.

With that being said, it’s reasonable to assume that further measures may be introduced as this situation continues to get worse. More businesses may need to shut down, more self-employed people may be without work, and so on. If there are any further tax relief updates for the state of New York, then we’ll update this article as they happen!