The IRS Just Extended The Tax Filing Deadline To July 15

The extension is the second date change since the coronavirus upended American life.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that tax day will be delayed from April 15 to July 15. He made the announcement on Twitter on Friday, days after announcing a deferral on tax payments but not on filing day.

“All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties,” Mnuchin tweeted.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had also announced that, as part of the House GOP plan for a next round of economic stimulus, he wanted to delay on tax day. McConnell’s bill also included provisions to allow individuals making payments to postpone them even further, until October 15th.

On March 10, Democratic lawmakers on the Ways and Means Committee had 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 at the time.

As recently as Tuesday, the White House had detailed on how taxpayers would be able to defer tax payments but had said that tax day itself would stay the same. “All you have to do is file your taxes; you’ll automatically not get charged interest in penalties,” Mnuchin said during that coronavirus briefing.

Taxpayer may be able to get a further extension with a form 4868, which in normal years gives taxpayers until October 15 to file a return. It was not immediately clear how the delay in tax day would change the extension process.

What remains unchanged after Friday’s announcement is that taxpayers who expect a refund can file right now and get their payments once the return is processed.

In a follow up tweet, the Treasury Secretary encouraged taxpayers to do just that.

IRS data through March 6 shows that almost 68 million Americans — roughly half of all filers based on previous years – have taken that advice. Nearly 53 million Americans (at least) have already gotten their refunds.

Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.

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