A number of reasonable changes to accommodate America’s new reality in dealing with the coronavirus crisis have been proposed and adopted by the federal government. Now, the deadline to file for taxes is one of them.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday that American taxpayers would not have to adhere to the normal April 15 deadline to file their tax returns. Instead, there would be a three-month delay, allowing filers to submit their records to the Internal Revenue Service up to July 15.
“At @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15,” Mnuchin wrote on Twitter. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”
The delay is likely a welcome respite for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of workers, many of whom have recently lost their jobs due to the financial outcomes of the spread of coronavirus, as well as others who are still working but may not have a job in the near future.
According to recent polling from ABC News/Ipsos, more than 2-in-5 Americans say they are presently without a job. Seventeen percent of Americans have transitioned their ordinary work situations to a work-from-home (WFH) setup, and 5 percent said they were already working from home.
In announcing the delay, Mnuchin stressed that Americans should still try to get their tax returns into the IRS as soon as possible.
“We encourage those Americans who can file their taxes to continue to file their taxes on April 15,” he said in a statement. “Because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds.”
The average tax refund among people who have already filed their taxes to the federal government has been around $3,000, the IRS said.
The delay only applies, at this time, to federal income tax returns. States will need to determine for themselves when to delay (and for how long) tax returns for citizens within their own jurisdictions.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.