Tax deadlines delayed for alcohol, tobacco, firearms and ammunition businesses hit by coronavirus

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The Treasury Department is pushing back the tax payment due dates for wine, beer, distilled spirits, tobacco products, firearms and ammunition excise taxes to offer them more flexibility for businesses that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Treasury and the IRS have been pushing back the income tax filing and payments deadlines for individual and business taxpayers from April 15 until July 15, as well as extending the due dates for estate, gift and generation-skipping tax returns, due to the COVID-19 pandemic (see our story). However, that still leaves many businesses and their accountants worried about the due dates for excise taxes and other types of levies.

Accounting organizations such as the American Institute of CPAs, the National Society of Accountants and the National Conference of CPA Practitioners have been asking the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to offer greater flexibility on those deadlines, along with further guidance.

“Many businesses regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in a statement Tuesday. “To assist these businesses during this challenging period, Treasury is postponing several filing and payment due dates for 90 days.”

The postponement by the Treasury of the due dates applies to any tax payment or operational report with an original due date falling on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020. Any interest and penalties won’t apply when the payments are made within 90 days of the original due date. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau plans to re-evaluate the terms of the immediate relief according to how the circumstances develop.

The Treasury said it recognizes that the operations of many of the industry members regulated by the TTB can be impacted by COVID-19 in various ways. It intends to consider applications on a case-by-case basis for the use of alternative methods and procedures that can help the affected industry members to resume or continue their operations. Businesses who need emergency variations from regulatory requirements can do so through an online contact form.

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Tax preparation Treasury Department Coronavirus Steven Mnuchin Tobacco surcharge