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Top Republican: IRS should 'seriously consider' extending tax-filing deadline

Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyMcConnell presses for 'actual consequences' in disclosure of tax data On The Money: House Democrats line up .5T in spending without budget | GOP takes aim at IRS | House Democrat mulls wealth tax Republicans open new line of attack on IRS MORE (Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Friday that the IRS should "seriously consider" extending the tax-filing deadline.

Brady said the IRS has a large workload. The agency has a backlog of paper tax returns from last year that still haven't been processed, has to issue a new round of direct payments and has to implement tax changes that have been made to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic, he noted.

"They are trying to make changes to accommodate that overwhelming work responsibility right now," Brady said on a call with reporters. "I'd be very open to extending that tax-filing deadline. I think it could be helpful."

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Brady's comments come after other lawmakers and tax preparers have urged the IRS to extend the filing deadline.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Republicans open new line of attack on IRS Ireland, loved by Biden, is obstacle to tax deal MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellZombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Democrats face new pressure to raise taxes New report reignites push for wealth tax MORE (D-N.J.), the chairman of the panel's oversight subcommittee, called for an extension earlier in the week. They said taxpayers will have questions about a provision in President BidenJoe Biden 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Philadelphia shooting leaves 2 dead, injures toddler Ron Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin MORE's coronavirus relief law that provides a tax exemption for up to $10,200 in unemployment compensation that people received in 2020. They also noted fewer tax returns have been filed so far this year, compared to the same time last year.

The IRS started this year's filing season a couple of weeks later than usual, but the deadline remains April 15 in most states.

The IRS has extended the filing deadline to June 15 in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana because of winter storms. People in other states can request six-month extensions, which is typical.

Last year, the agency extended the filing deadline to July 15 because of the pandemic. But so far, the IRS has said it doesn't plan to follow suit this year.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said last month that an extension would back up the agency and cause confusion for taxpayers.