Lawmakers call on IRS to push back tax filing deadline
Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) are calling on the IRS to push back its tax filing deadline in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter sent to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on Friday, the lawmakers argued that an additional 90 days should be provided to help mitigate the impact the virus is having on local communities.
“We are writing today to request that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extend the deadline for tax filings for individual and business filers by ninety days, from the current date of April 15, 2020, until June 15, 2020,” they wrote. “This request is in direct response to the impact that the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on our local businesses and communities.”
The bipartisan members cited Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s recent testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee stating “the authority to enact this filing delay is possible to provide without Congressional action,” adding it could provide individuals the resources needed to mitigate the crisis.
“This would provide hundreds of billions of dollars of immediate liquidity into the market,” they continued.
“This would allow individuals more flexibility to pay for their housing, childcare for children who may be unable to attend school, or medical care and health products to care for ailing family members, and small businesses the cash flow to keep their doors open and pay their workers at a time where consumer demand is unpredictable.”
They went on to say they believe it’s critical to take action to provide stability for individuals, families and businesses to navigate the pandemic.
“Additionally, as we receive more information on the disease, we request that you continue to evaluate whether further filing delays for individuals or businesses will be necessary. It is imperative that we take immediate action and work to provide certainty for individuals and small businesses at a time where we are facing a public health crisis and volatility in the market,” they wrote.
“Now, more than ever, Americans need relief from filing and payment penalties. For those communities that are currently impacted by COVID-19, the focus should be on the health and safety of themselves, their families, and their community,” they continued.
The letter comes as lawmakers attempt to hash out a deal on a bill aimed at mitigating the economic effect of the coronavirus by providing financial assistance to people harmed by the pandemic.
The Trump administration has reportedly weighed extending the mid-April tax filing deadline as the country responds to the coronavirus.
Trump said during an Oval Office address on Wednesday that he would direct the Treasury Department to “defer tax payments, without interest or penalties, for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted” by the coronavirus.