The White House announced that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, tax payments could be delayed until July 15, but you still gave to file your taxes by April 15.
The delay in payment will be penalty- and interest-free and you can defer payments up to a million dollars.
Obviously, this is a godsend to millions of taxpayers who would otherwise be in the lurch.
The IRS provided some details Wednesday about how the deferral will work. The notice underlined the fact that “This guidance does not change the April 15 filing deadline.” The notice also defines “any person with a Federal income tax payment due April 15, 2020” as being affected by coronavirus.
The IRS was ambivalent on granting the extension, as Democrats who initially tried to convince the agency to grant it found out.
Getting clarity on the issue has been challenging. On March 10, Democratic lawmakers on the Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to the IRS to try find out more about any changes for the filing season. “We request your continued evaluation of whether there is any need to extend the tax filing season beyond the April 15 deadline,” they wrote. A spokesperson for the committee confirmed Wednesday morning that it had yet to receive a response.
On Monday, Congressman Tom Suozzi, a Democrat who represents parts of Long Island and Queens, followed up in a statement. “I am now calling on the Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Rettig to extend the deadline to file tax returns,” they added, saying we need to ensure financial security “by giving people the extra resources they need during this difficult time.”
The last thing anyone wants to shell out money for when you’re laid off or could be laid off is taxes. This is a smart political move.
Caroline Bruckner, a professor at American University, noted in an email that the delay is helpful not only for people who owe but also for “low-income folks who rely on volunteer income tax assistance programs to do their taxes, many of which have been temporarily shut down.”
My tax prep company does everything online, so I’m one of the lucky ones. You won’t be able to walk into a Jackson Hewitt office and have your taxes done if they’re not open for business.
This isn’t something that will continue after the crisis has passed, but it’s welcome nonetheless.