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COVID-19 affects federal, state and local deadlines

| May 21, 2020 1:00 AM

A local financial planner sent some dates for me to pass along regarding extensions to some important upcoming deadlines. Here are a few of the deadlines that have been affected.

Tax Deadlines

The IRS has postponed the due date for filing federal income taxes and making tax payments until July 15, 2020. No interest, penalties or additions to taxes will be incurred during the 90-day extension period. This relief is automatically given to all taxpayers (there are no additional forms to fill out to qualify). The relief applies to federal income tax payments for taxable year 2019 and estimated tax payments for the year 2020 which were originally due on April 15, 2020. The state of Idaho has extended its tax deadline until June 15, 2020.

REAL ID

The REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005 and set some minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards has also extended its deadline. Residents of every state and territory are required to have a REAL-ID or other acceptable form of identification (such as a passport), in order to access federal facilities, enter nuclear power plants, and board commercial aircraft.

The initial deadline was Oct. 1, 2020, but has now been extended a year to Oct. 1, 2021. For more information, visit the website at www.dhs.gov/real-id.

Driver’s license and vehicle registrations

As a result of motor vehicle departments temporarily closing or limiting in-person traffic, extensions or waivers of deadlines are being offered for driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.

Our local driver’s license office is re-opened for appointments only through the QLESS app. Please refer to the website at www.kcsheriff.com/177/Drivers-License for more detailed information or call 208-446-1962.

For vehicle registration, the Idaho Transportation Department has issued up to a 90-day emergency extension for expiring vehicle credentials. Registrations that expire between March 1 and May 31 of 2020 will now be valid until June 30, 2020. All Idaho-licensed vehicle dealers can issue 60-day temporary registration permits for any vehicle sold between March 17, 2020, and May 31, 2020. For a list of other extensions and for more information, please visit the ITD website at itd.idaho.gov/dmv or call 208-446-1580.

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HIRED DRIVERS, BEWARE: A friend of mine recently alerted me to an interesting situation regarding a lady who filed a claim on her vehicle’s extended warranty and was denied. Why? Because she had been using her vehicle as a Lyft driver.

When her car needed some repairs, she took it to the repair shop to have the work done. Since her car was out of its original warranty, she expected her extended warranty to pick up the almost $1,800 in charges.

However, the issuer of the extended warranty saw that she had the Lyft stickers on her car and concluded that she was driving her car for hire so they denied her claim. Turns out there is a loophole in her extended warranty that invalidated her warranty because the vehicle was used to transport people for hire.

Loopholes like this one are not that uncommon for used vehicles but you should be aware that this loophole could apply to extended warranties on some new cars as well.

While I wasn’t able to review the actual contract in this instance, I was able to review a friend’s extended warranty issued on a 2018 Toyota, which he purchased brand new. While his original warranty was silent on driving for hire, the extended warranty (issued by Toyota) excluded coverage for vehicles that are used for commercial purposes.

With any warranty it is important to understand the details. Don’t assume anything. I was surprised to learn of an exclusion for driving for hire as it seems it would create no additional wear on the vehicle other than more miles. So with any other than normal vehicle use, snowplowing for example, review your warranty to ensure you do not void it.

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TAXED BENEFITS ALERT: The recent stimulus payment many of us received is money that we are not going to be taxed on. However, if you are receiving any unemployment benefits be sure to put some money aside because those benefits are taxable. I’ve heard from a few readers that they are receiving unemployment checks and that no taxes are being withheld. I’ve checked with a tax consultant and he confirmed that only federal and state income tax will be due but not Social Security or Medicare taxes on the amounts received.

Normally, you could contact the state and request a certain amount be withheld for tax purposes from each payment, but many readers are having trouble getting through to anybody who can help them. If you are in this circumstance, plan to save a portion from each payment so when the taxes become due upon filing your federal and state returns for 2020 you won’t be caught off guard.

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Remember: I’m on your side.

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If you have encountered a consumer issue that you have questions about or think our readers should know about, please send me an email at terridickersonadvocate@gmail.com or call me at 208-274-4458. As The CDA Press Consumer Gal, I’m here to help. I’m a copywriter working with businesses on marketing strategy, a columnist, a veterans advocate assistant and a consumer advocate living in Coeur d’Alene.