If you are anything like us, you are reading this while working in some semi-quiet corner of your home. This new reality is also true for many of the employees of the Illinois Department of Revenue, as they too have been instructed to work from home. Because of this new reality, the Department is making some adjustments to assist taxpayers. At the same time, the Department is highlighting some traps for the unwary that could arise in this new reality.
Relaxed ICB Petition Filing and Signature Requirements
The Department’s Acting General Counsel, Brian Fliflet, and Informal Conference Board (“ICB”) Administrator, Dan Hall, both confirmed that the Department is allowing ICB petitions, including any supporting documents, to be filed with the Department via e-mail. Additionally, if you are having trouble getting signatures for an ICB petition, and the deadline for filing the petition is fast approaching, take comfort in knowing that the Department will be treating e-mailed petitions as timely filed, even if they are filed without signatures. The Department will require any ICB petition filed without signatures to be re-submitted later with signatures. Alternatively, for the time being, the Department is permitting ICB petitions to be signed remotely, scanned, and then submitted in electronic format to the Department (i.e.original signatures are not required). Presently, the ICB petitions can be submitted by email.
Extended Filing Deadlines and Estimated Payments
The Department has announced that Illinois will be following the federal extension of the filing deadline to July 15 for all individual, trust and corporate income tax filings.1 However, the Department’s Acting General Counsel cautioned income tax filers planning to take advantage of the extended July 15 income tax filing deadline that any overpayments reported after April 15 cannot be applied to first quarter estimated payments for the current tax year. Overpayments reported on a return can only be credited to estimated taxes due on or before the date the return reporting the overpayment is actually filed. Consequently, a taxpayer will not be able to use 2019 overpayments to satisfy its first quarter estimated income tax payment obligation (due April 15, 2020) unless it declines to take advantage of the extended filing deadline. If such a taxpayer intends to take advantage of the extended filing deadline, it will need to satisfy its first quarter estimated tax obligation in another manner on or before the April 15, 2020 estimated payment due date.