The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has created hardships for many individuals and businesses. With many businesses and government offices closed, simple tasks like renewing a driver’s license have become much more complicated. The Federal and State governments, along with many local governments, have taken steps to make things easier by extending deadlines for several kinds of taxes and document filings.
Federal and State Taxes
The due date for filing 2019 federal income tax returns and making tax payments has been extended to July 15, 2020. There will be no additional interest or penalties assesses due to taking advantage of this 90-day relief provision, and no paperwork needs to be filed to qualify. The extension also applies to estimated tax payments for tax year 2020, which are normally due on April 15, 2020.
Although Florida does not levy state income tax on individuals, businesses are subject to income/franchise tax (CIT). In response to the crisis, the Florida Department of Revenue issued an emergency order that extends deadlines for certain CIT returns and payments, but the extension varies depending upon the business’s fiscal year. Some filing deadlines have also been extended for Sales and Use Tax for February and March reporting periods.
The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, mandates minimum security requirements for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. REAL ID-compliant identification, signified by a star in the upper right-hand corner, will be required in order to access federal facilities and board commercial aircraft. The deadline for the REAL ID act was originally set for October 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the deadline has been extended to October 1, 2021.
Florida Driver’s License
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has granted a 60-day extension for Florida driver’s licenses and State issued ID cards expiring March 16, 2020, through April 15, 2020, and a 30-day extension for those expiring April 16, 2020, through May 31, 2020. Additionally, the order extends through June 30, 2020, the effective period of commercial driver licenses with expiration dates on or after March 16, 2020.
Local Governments and Utilities
The Polk County Tax Collector has extended the deadline to pay 2019 delinquent real estate property taxes to 5:00 PM, June 12, 2020. Also, the City of Lakeland has extended deadlines for paying delinquent utility bills, and the City of Winter Haven has temporarily suspended service disconnects for non-payment. TECO has also temporarily suspended service disconnections for overdue bills as well as implementing a 20% rate decrease during the summer months for residential customers.
Rick Bernard | MBA