We are living through an unprecedented time. As unbelievable as it was to watch America go to war for the first time in half a century, the fallout from the COVID-19 coronavirus is mind-blowing. We added words that were never a part of our vocabulary, but are now deeply ingrained: social distancing, self-quarantine, shelter in place and so on. Despite the efforts of individuals and governments, the disease marches on.
While we won’t launch into a discussion about whether wearing face masks is effective, we do want to applaud one thing going right with Congress. Despite the effects on small business from all the social distancing, self-quarantining and restrictions on gathering in groups, we are grateful that filing taxes has been put on a temporary delay.
The IRS moved the national income tax filing day to July 15, three months after the normal deadline for Americans to send in their returns.
“At @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a tweet about the extension. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”
Most Americans are entitled to refunds when they file their federal tax returns. As of March 13, the Internal Revenue Service had issued 59.2 million refunds out of the 76.2 million individual income tax returns it had received, or 77.7% of the total number of returns filed by that date.
The average refund check was $2,973, according to IRS data.
Many individual states already had extended their own tax-filing deadlines to various dates to give people relief from the financial fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, which has shuttered businesses nationwide and led to large-scale layoffs. The IRS move will increase pressure on states to align their deadlines with the new one for federal income tax returns.
It is unclear if the deadline extension also will include the deadline for funding Individual Retirement Accounts for the 2019 tax year.
If you have further questions about your tax filing or preparing for your 2020 income expectations, please contact.