Democratic senators ask IRS to extend tax filing deadline amid coronavirus outbreak

Democratic senators ask IRS to extend tax filing deadline amid coronavirus outbreak
© Greg Nash

Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive House approves two child care bills aimed at pandemic GOP, Democratic relief packages B apart on vaccine funding MORE (D-Wash.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage Bottom line MORE (D-N.J.) on Wednesday asked the IRS to extend the taxpayer filing deadline amid the outbreak of the coronavirus causing COVID-19.

“Given the growing nationwide concerns regarding the potential spread and the resulting economic and public health impact of such an outbreak, we urge you to act quickly and remove one source of stress that individuals face during this crisis,” the two wrote to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

“The American people should not have to worry about filing IRS forms in the middle of a public health emergency," they added.

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The request from the Democratic senators comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the organization labeled the disease as such because of the pace at which the virus as spreading as well as its severity. 

The senators went on to explain that if the Trump administration could be lenient with corporations and wealthy individuals, then surely it could provide assistance to everyday Americans. 

“While providing penalty relief is insufficient to address this crisis alone, it would at least lift one burden off the backs of taxpayers, who are trying to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” Murray and Menendez added.

“If the Trump Administration can grant flexibility to multinational corporations armed with droves of accountants and tax attorneys, then surely it can provide similar relief to hard-working American families," they wrote.

The current filing deadline for 2019 is April 15.

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"We are looking at providing substantial relief to certain taxpayers and small businesses who will be able to get extensions on their taxes," Mnuchin said Wednesday during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. "We think we can provide over $200 billion of liquidity into the economy by delaying certain tax payments."