CHICAGO (CBS) — Wednesday is April 15th, the traditional deadline to file your taxes.
But it’s been postponed this year because of COVID-19. But some taxpayers still have to file tomorrow.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams found out the rules are hurting some of the people getting hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis.
Small business owners and independent contractors are in that group. And they’re wondering why all taxpayers at this time don’t have the same deadlines.
Jill Bishop is the owner of Multilingual Connections, a successful business with employees around the world. But this tax season is a head scratcher.
“It’s confusing. I have an email from my CPA that I think I had to read seven times,” Bishop said.
Like other Illinois small business owners, gig workers and independent contractors, Bishop has to pay her quarterly estimated taxes to the state Wednesday. Even though because of COVID-19, the IRS and state of Illinois have pushed back deadlines for other taxpayers.
Eighty percent of accountant Ted Galatsianos’ clients are small business owners.
“It seems a little unfair, because people in the gig economy are the ones most impacted by the crisis to begin with,” said Galatsianos of OPS Accounting. “So now if they don’t make those estimated tax payments they’re going to be subjected some interest and penalties for not making them on time.”
All at a time when small business and gig workers are trying to stay afloat in a brutal economy.
“We’re all trying to go after all these relief loan processing, all these opportunities that are there to support business and to struggle with that on top of everything else,” Bishop said. “Let us focus on running our business, applying for grants where they exist and push off this quarterly payment as long as we can.”
Ted Galatsianos urges his clients not to panic.
“Contrary to what a lot of people think, it’s a voluntary payment. It’s not like you’re missing a deadline to make payment. You just have to be aware that you will pay some penalties and interest.”
A state of Illinois spokesperson said the department of revenue has taken many steps to give taxpayers flexibility during the COVID-19 crisis and given those who owe the quarterly taxes an alternative way to calculate their liability.