Ask the Advocate October 2019 Tax News

The filing season is coming to an end

Susan Maples, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate.

Susan Maples, CPA
Taxpayers' Rights Advocate
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It seems like just yesterday that we were preparing for the 2019 filing season, anticipating the challenges ahead due to the significant changes in the tax laws. From conversations I have had with many of you, I learned that this filing season was in fact quite a bit more difficult than in prior years. But, you met the challenges head on and were able to get your clients’ returns filed.

FTB did its part too, doing everything possible to make the filing season go smoothly. I am especially proud of the efforts made this year by our Filing Division, both in making the necessary revisions to the forms you needed to file and in getting the returns you filed processed quickly and accurately, with refunds going out as soon as possible. Thankfully, we are now approaching the extended or final filing deadline, which means this year’s filing season will come to a close soon. Then, after a brief respite, we will begin to prepare for next year.

Annual preparations for filing season require a major effort on the part of our Filing Division. We need a gap between one year’s filing season and the next in order to make the necessary changes and updates to our systems and processes. I mention this because we have had several requests recently to extend the due date for filing a C corporation return by one additional month to November 15. Unfortunately, we cannot extend the due date beyond the October 15 extended due date for filing a C corporation return due to year-end processing limitations. If you would like to know more about the California extended deadline for corporate taxpayers, we discussed this in depth in the October 2018 Tax News.

If a taxpayer files a return beyond the extended due date and receives a penalty for filing late, the penalty will be calculated back to the original due date, which is the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the tax year. For calendar year corporations, this is normally April 15. A taxpayer may request abatement of the penalty upon a showing of reasonable cause. Requests for penalty abatement for reasonable cause are considered on a case by case basis. Hopefully though, you won’t have to avail yourself of this process.