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Governor Cuomo’s Press Conference Leads to More Questions regarding NYS Tax Deadline

03.20.20 | SALT Chat

BERDON-COVID-19-UpdateDuring Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press conference today, in response to a question from a reporter regarding whether New York State was going to have a new tax deadline, the Governor responded, “The new deadline is the federal deadline.”

The Governor immediately handed off to the State Budget Director Robert Mujica, who confirmed that since the New York deadline is tied to the federal deadline, New York’s deadlines will be extended as well.

When asked about the sales tax deadline, Mr. Mujica responded that “we are going to forgive interest and penalties related to the sales tax.” When asked if the sales tax deadline was being pushed back, Mr. Mujica responded “the deadline stays the same. But there is no interest or penalties for those who can’t pay.” The Budget Director’s comments expressly addressed sales tax. His statement also appeared to cover business and personal income taxes, but we await official clarification on this. 

Berdon Observation: While the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance has broad discretion to abate penalties, interest is mandated by statute. Without legislation, we are puzzled as to how the Governor can follow through on the promise of no interest. Further, Mr. Mujica commented that interest and penalties would not apply for those who can’t pay. Exactly who this may or may not apply to is unclear at best.

Although, we are sure the government and their staff have good intentions, the NYS Tax Department’s website still indicates that returns are due, based on the images below.

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If you have questions about the impact on your circumstance, contact me at WBerkowitz@BerdonLLP.com or your Berdon advisor.

Wayne Berkowitz, a tax partner and co-leader of the State and Local Tax Group at Berdon LLP, advises on the unique requirements of governments and municipalities across the nation.