States and local jurisdictions continue to grapple with novel tax issues in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), a $2 trillion federal stimulus package to provide fiscal relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act includes numerous tax relief provisions. States will need to consider whether, and how, they will conform to the federal provisions.
On Wednesday, March 24, the Texas Comptroller’s Office announced several important measures in response to the current conditions caused by COVID-19. The Comptroller’s Office has been preparing these measures for several weeks, particularly after Governor Abbott declared a state of disaster, applicable to all 254 counties, on March 13. These updated measures include:
States continue to provide relief in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This week, numerous states responded to the federal income tax filing extension, and we expect additional states to respond in the coming days. Some states are also offering relief for non-income business taxes, and much of the relief is limited to small- to mid-size businesses. Furthermore, COVID-19 is causing complications in property tax assessments, payments, and appeals.
Since our previous blog post, several more states have provided tax relief by extending filing and payment deadlines in response to the COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) outbreak. However, numerous state tax departments are also canceling in-person customer service, which could make it more difficult for taxpayers to receive timely answers to their filing questions. We are also seeing the continued impact of COVID-19 on state and local tax litigation as more state courts and administrative tribunals adjourn hearing dates or move to conduct certain proceedings remotely.