Department of Revenue reacts to help struggling businesses

Jun 25, 2020
Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

The state Department of Revenue has taken several steps to ease financial burdens on businesses forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member of Revenue’s Business Advisory Council, I was briefed on these steps earlier this week by department Director Vikki Smith and her assistant directors.

Steps taken to ease the financial hardships include:

  • Filing of taxes was extended from April 15 to June 15 for annual filers, and from April 30 to June 30 for quarterly filers. Extension requests are now being accepted online. An extension should be requested before a due date and does not waive the taxes but extends the time to pay.
  • For outstanding balances, under an order, the Governor has waived interest until July 1. COVID-19 payment plans have no penalties.
  • Call 360-705-6705 to inquire if your business meets criteria. Compliance and enforcement activities have been suspended until mid-July.
  • Audits have been delayed at least 60 days for small businesses grossing less than $5 million annually.

Revenue will allow records for audits to be dropped off at field offices once they reopen. The audit division will focus on businesses that have been open during the pandemic.

For Business Licensing – DOR cannot extend expiration dates as these are done at a local level. DOR’s BLS – Business Licensing System – can waive delinquency fees.

For businesses accepting federal Payment Protection Program (PPP) funds – you do not owe Business and Occupation tax at this time. The Legislature and Governor will likely be reviewing this issue possibly during a special session or in January 2021 at the Regular Session.

Finally, the agency extended the due date for state estate taxes to July 15 to coincide with the federal estate tax due date. For more information on these programs please visit the Department of Revenue website at: