Mnuchin: Individuals will be able to defer up to $1M in tax payments due to coronavirus

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Supreme Court upholds NY prosecutors' access to Trump's tax returns, rebuffs Congress | Trump complains of 'political prosecution' | Biden rebukes Trump, rolls out jobs plan Mnuchin: Next stimulus bill must cap jobless benefits at 100 percent of previous income Why Trump can't make up his mind on China MORE on Tuesday said that individuals will be able to defer up to $1 million in tax payments to the IRS for 90 days in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mnuchin said that the $1 million threshold was chosen to take into account for pass-through businesses that pay taxes through the individual code on their owners' returns. He said that corporations would be able to defer up to $10 million in tax payments.

The deferrals would occur on an interest-free and penalty-free basis, Mnuchin said.

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Mnuchin argued in a press conference that the move would amount to a deferral of $300 billion, saying that's "an enormous amount of liquidity in the system."

Mnuchin also encouraged Americans who can file their taxes by the April 15 deadline to still do so. 

"For many Americans, you will get tax refunds, and we don't want you to lose out on those tax refunds," he said.

Typically, about 70 percent of individuals receive refunds.

Mnuchin's announcement comes after Trump said in an Oval Office address last week that he was instructing the Treasury Department to defer tax payments for individuals and businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been pressing Treasury to extend tax deadlines, arguing that doing so could ease financial burdens for individuals and small businesses. Tax professionals have said that extensions could also help tax preparers who can't work from their offices because of the coronavirus.