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Calls grow from lawmakers for IRS to extend filing deadline

Calls grow from lawmakers for IRS to extend filing deadline
© Bloomberg/Pool

A group of more than 100 House members on Tuesday urged the IRS to extend the tax filing and payment deadlines — the latest effort from lawmakers to press the IRS to postpone the April 15 due date.

"We respectfully urge you to extend the federal tax filing and payment deadline as Americans, and the IRS, continue to grapple with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," the lawmakers wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and Mark Mazur, Treasury's acting assistant secretary for tax policy.

Reps. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinCapitol Police watchdog paints damning picture of Jan. 6 failures The Hill's Morning Report - Biden officials brace for worst despite vaccine data Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing MORE (D-Md.) and Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellLawmakers launch bipartisan caucus on SALT deduction Five hurdles Democrats face to pass an infrastructure bill Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority MORE (D-N.J.) took the lead on the letter, which was primarily signed by Democrats. Pascrell serves as chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, which is scheduled to hold a hearing with Rettig on Thursday.

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The IRS extended last year's filing and payment deadlines by three months because of the pandemic, but the agency has not yet taken similar action this year on a national level. Rettig said during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing last month that extensions back up the IRS and create taxpayer confusion.

The lawmakers said that an extension makes sense this year because people continue to face economic, logistical and health challenges due to the pandemic. They also said that taxpayers are still awaiting IRS guidance about tax changes created by recently enacted coronavirus relief legislation, and they noted that the IRS started this year's filing season later than usual.

"Millions of stressed-out taxpayers, businesses and preparers would appreciate an extension of the deadline to file their 2020 tax returns," they wrote.

The lawmakers' letter comes after Pascrell and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealTrump lawyers argue NY tax return law no longer applies to him Democrats offer competing tax ideas on Biden infrastructure Top Democrat calling for expansion of child care support MORE (D-Mass.) issued a statement last week calling for the filing season to be extended. The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyBuchanan to seek top GOP position on Ways and Means Committee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring On The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire MORE (R-Texas), said Friday that the IRS should "seriously consider" an extension.

The IRS has extended tax deadlines for people in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma to June 15 because of winter storms. Others can request six-month filing extensions.