By Jenny Ling, Esq. and Michael Safren, Esq.
Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) is taking significant measures during the state of emergency to provide relief to all COVID-19 impacted businesses. These actions are in effect during the state of emergency from February 29, 2020, through the end of the state of emergency, which is yet to be determined.
1) Extensions Are Available. Upon request, the Department will provide extensions for filing and paying tax returns (even if the request is after the due date).This only applies to returns that are due and not already paid during the state of emergency, starting Feb. 29, 2020, through the end of the state of emergency, which is yet to be determined.
• 60 days for monthly returns (this applies to the February 2020 and March 2020 returns at this time)
• 30 days for the Q1/2020 return
• 30 days for the Annual 2019 return
2) Existing Collection Related Issues. DOR will delay issuing new compliance assessments for the next 30 days and reassess then. This delay includes tax warrants, notices of withhold and deliver, and revocations. Upon request, Revenue will work with taxpayers that are impacted by COVID-19 to adjust payment plan amounts or extend payment dates 30 to 60 days. If payment is extended, additional penalties and interest that would have normally accrued during the extension period will be waived.
3) Scheduled Audits
• The Department will delay scheduling audits of businesses that have gross income of less than $5 million in the past year, or are a type of business specifically identified in the Governor’s proclamation, for 60 days. Revenue will reevaluate after this time.
• For audits in progress, Revenue staff will work with you to either issue the audit or provide an extension of up to 60 days based on your preference.
• Revenue staff will be flexible in scheduling audits of businesses and encourage electronic records to support social distancing.
4) The Department will waive the BLS delinquency fee for late renewals. Penalties and interest accrued prior to February 29, 2020, will not be waived. There will be no refunds for penalties and interest paid during the state of emergency. The Department will waive penalties for late non-profit applications and renewals for exempt property.
5) Requesting Relief. Businesses can request the relief above by sending a secure email in their “My DOR account” or by calling Revenue’s customer service staff at 360-705-6705, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Michael Safren and Jenny Ling are Partners at The Law Offices of Jenny Ling, PLLC. Their practice focuses on business, real estate, estate planning, debtor/creditor rights, and civil litigation.