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 RaskinJan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth House progressives urge Garland to intervene in ex-environmental lawyer Steven Donziger's case Trump allies leaning on his executive privilege claims MORE (D-Md.) and Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellDemocrats fear Virginia is precursor to House drubbing Infrastructure bill could upset debt limit timeline Democrats seek tweaks to .75T framework 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 NealGOP fears boomerang as threat of government shutdown grows House passes giant social policy and climate measure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay 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 BradyTrump war with GOP seeps into midterms Nunes retirement move seen as sign of power shift in GOP Nunes resignation sets off GOP scramble on Ways and Means 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.