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Democrats seek IRS review on whether to extend filing season due to coronavirus

Democrats seek IRS review on whether to extend filing season due to coronavirus
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Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS on Tuesday for an update about how the coronavirus is impacting the tax-filing season, including the agency's "continued evaluation" of whether it's necessary to extend the filing season beyond April 15.

“Specifically, we are concerned about the ability of the IRS to provide taxpayer assistance and process returns, as well as the ability of taxpayers, free tax preparation sites, and tax professionals to meet the filing deadline,” the committee Democrats wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

The lawmakers noted that the IRS has the authority to extend the deadline for filing a return by up to six months and can waive certain penalties when taxpayers demonstrate reasonable cause.

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In addition to asking for the agency's evaluation of whether it should extend the filing season, the lawmakers said they "are hopeful that the IRS will consider the need for relief from certain filing and payment penalties for taxpayers and communities impacted by COVID-19."

The IRS said in a statement last week that the agency has an internal working group that is monitoring the coronavirus and will "promptly respond to any emerging situations to protect our employees and taxpayers interacting with the agency."

"Normal IRS operations are continuing, and we are seeing a strong, smooth filing season for the nation," the agency said. "Taxpayers should continue to file and submit tax returns as they normally would."