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AICPA asks for PPP, tax filing deadline extensions

Written on Mar 5, 2021

OSCPA staff report 

The AICPA has asked Congress to extend the Paycheck Protection Program’s March 31 application deadline at least 60 days and the IRS and the Department of the Treasury to extend the April 15 tax filing and payment deadline to June 15. 

The March 9 letter signed by AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, says small businesses risk being unable to apply in time for funding during the current round of the PPP because of numerous significant system issues, operational process changes and recent guidance released by the administration of President Joe Biden. 

The letter asking for an extension to the tax filing deadline, said a delayed start of Feb. 12 to the 2021 filing season, a second round of Paycheck Protection loans, changes to the Employee Retention Credit and delayed processing of 2019 returns have combined to make a delay necessary. 

The March 10 passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319) also requires the IRS to issue another round of economic impact payments ($1,400 this time). This is going to create a capacity issue for the IRS to handle tax filings by April 15. 

“Maintaining the April 15 filing and payment deadline does not reflect the real-world hardship and challenges imposed on taxpayers and tax professionals,” the AICPA wrote in a letter you can read in its entirety here. AICPA President & CEO Barry C. Melancon also discussed the recommendation March 4 at an AICPA online “town hall” session. (You can view the video here, click on the video titled "AICPA Town Hall - March 4 Edition" and go to the 13-minute mark.) 

However, the position seems to be at odds with many OSCPA members, two-thirds of whom voted in a recent Town Hall poll to maintain the April 15 deadline. 

In its letter, the AICPA acknowledged concerns “that a postponement of the filing and payment deadlines will create additional burdens on taxpayers and tax professionals, such as systemic failures in processing the extended returns and subsequent erroneous notices.” However, it wrote that “surrounding circumstances,” including those listed above, make a postponement necessary.