Texas Comptroller Provides Sales and Use Tax Relief in Response to COVID-19

Extension for Payment of Motor Vehicle Tax.  The Texas Comptroller has provided an extension of up to 90 days past the original due date to pay the motor vehicle tax.  Late penalties will be assessed as if the last day of the extension is the original due date.  However, the extension does not apply to seller-financed motor vehicle sales.

Assistance and Relief Available for February 2020 Sales Taxes. The Texas Comptroller is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in some cases, waivers of penalties and interest for businesses struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they collected in February 2020.

Temporary Suspension of Deadline to Contest Audit Results. The Texas Comptroller is temporarily suspending the 60-day deadline for businesses to contest audit results. This suspension applies to both re-determination hearings and refund hearings. Interest accrued during this period will be waived, and businesses will be notified to reestablish a request deadline at a later date. However, if taxpayers are able to request re-determination during the 60-day deadline, the Comptroller’s Office can handle these requests.

Case-by-Case Relief for Existing Payment Plan Agreements. The Texas Comptroller will provide COVID-19 tax relief in the form of postponements on deadlines to remit payments related to existing payment plan agreements on a case-by-case basis. Any relief granted in the form of postponement (a) will apply only to existing payment plan agreements for periods prior to the February 2020 tax report, (b) will not extend or delay a taxpayer’s due dates for remitting or reporting tax collections on behalf of state and local governments, (c) will not apply to resolution agreements that specify a deadline to make a single lump-sum payment of the entire liability, and (d) will not reduce the total amount due under the payment plan agreement. After the expiration of the postponement period, all payment deadlines will resume on the next periodic payment deadline as provided in the payment plan agreement and all postponed payments will be added to the end of the term of the payment plan agreement.

Accessing Offered Relief. Call the Texas Comptroller Enforcement Hotline at (800) 252-8880 to learn about options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest/late fees on taxes due. Visit the Texas Comptroller COVID-19 News web center for online tools, tutorials, and other resources for tax services. The Texas Comptroller web center also provides 24/7 account access.

Frank L. Leffingwell is a tax attorney in the firm’s Tax Planning & Controversy, Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts, and Real Estate sections.