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Sales Tax Filings: Penalty & Interest Waivers

April 15, 2020

Many states are issuing new guidelines relating to payment relief and sales tax filings due to the developing circumstances of Covid-19 (virus). In New York State, quarterly or annual sales tax vendors may qualify for penalty and interest waivers if vendors were unable to file or pay their March 20, 2020 sales tax return due to the impact of the pandemic.

New York State’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued an executive order which provides the Tax Commissioner of the state Department of Taxation and Finance with the power to abate late filing and payment penalties, as well as abate interest on quarterly sales and use tax filings and remittances with a deadline of March 20, 2020. The Department of Taxation and Finance already had the authority to abate payment and late filing penalties.

In an effort to assist NYS taxpayers in understanding the implications of this pandemic on sales tax filings, we have created a brief summary, below:

  1. Taxpayers who did not meet filing, payment, or other deadlines because the business’s important employees treated for, or were thought to have, COVID-19 (virus);
  2. Taxpayers whose records necessary to meet such deadlines were not available or accessible due to the virus pandemic;
  3. Taxpayers who have difficulty in meeting said deadlines due to closure orders or other business interruptions resulting from the virus pandemic; and
  4. Taxpayers whose tax practitioners were unable to complete their work to meet the deadline.

All returns must be filed, and the amount due must be paid within sixty (60) days of the due date for this relief to apply. Those not eligible for this relief include sales tax vendors who are required to file on a monthly basis, Promptax program participants for sales and use tax, and prepaid sales tax on fuel.

Taxpayers seeking abatements can visit the Department’s website for instructions on how to apply for relief Otherwise, taxpayers that receive a penalty notice should follow the notice’s directives to request abatement relief. Abatements of penalties and rate of interest on late payments not made by the date required by law, or not covered by this announcement, will be handled case-by-case.

If you are a quarterly or annual sales tax vendor, and you were unable to file or pay your March 20, 2020, sales tax return due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to apply to have penalty and interest waived. To determine whether you are eligible, and to discuss your legal options please contact Tiveron Law Attorneys at Law at 716-636-7600.

DISCLAIMER: This article has been published as a service to the general public, and, as such, is intended for general purposes only. The information contained within this article should not be considered and/or construed as legal advice. Each reader is advised to consult legal counsel to determine how the contents of this article may apply to their particular facts and circumstances.

For changing and up-to-date legal information, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.