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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants recently asked Congress to extend the Paycheck Protection Program’s March 31 application deadline at least 60 days. Additionally, the AICPA also asked the IRS and the Department of the Treasury to extend the April 15 tax filing and payment deadline to June 15.

aicpa-logoIn a letter sent on March 9, AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said the organization is concerned small business owners will miss the deadline to apply. They risk being unable to apply for PPP funding before the March 31 deadline due to numerous significant system issues, operational process changes and recent guidance released by the Whitehouse.

The letter also asked for an extension to the tax ling deadline.

Melancon wrote that a delayed start of Feb. 12 to the 2021 filing season, a second round of PPP loans, changes to the Employee Retention Credit and delayed processing of 2019 returns have combined to make a delay necessary.

Complicating the matter even more is the March 10 passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319), which requires the IRS to issue another round of economic impact payments ($1,400 to qualified individuals). The new stimulus plan will create a capacity issue for the IRS to handle tax lings 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,” Melancon wrote.

During a March 4 online “town hall” session, he discussed this recommendation, which may be at odds with many OSCPA members. Roughly two-thirds of those members who participated in the “town hall” poll voted 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.

Zinner & Co. cautions our clients that Congress has not acted upon the recommendation to extend the PPP deadline for small businesses and that the IRS and the Department of the Treasury has made no indication that it will extend the tax filing and payment deadline.