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 RaskinGOP seeks to keep spotlight on Afghanistan as Dems advance Biden's .5T spending plan Raskin writing memoir about Jan. 6, son's suicide House Democrats demand details after Border Patrol agents accused of profiling Latinos in Michigan MORE (D-Md.) and Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellProgressive poll finds support for solar energy tax credit legislation Democrats brace for toughest stretch yet with Biden agenda LIVE COVERAGE: Tax hikes take center stage in Ways and Means markup 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.


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 NealDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Want a clean energy future? Look to the tax code 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 BradyHouse panel advances key portion of Democrats' .5T bill LIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means to conclude work on .5T package LIVE COVERAGE: Tax hikes take center stage in Ways and Means markup 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.