WASHINGTON — The income tax filing date has been pushed back from April 15 to July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin announced the decision in a tweet Friday saying that at President Donald Trump’s direction “we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”
At a White House briefing, Trump said the delay on filing and paying taxes until July 15 was done to give taxpayers more time and “hopefully by that time, people will be getting back to their lives.”
Tony Grenci, a certified public accountant in Butler, lauded the decision.
“The biggest positive is people who do not want to leave the house unnecessarily don’t have to worry about it,” Grenci said.
Grenci said he saw the same volume of business this year as he had in past tax seasons.
Ken Randall of K.E. Randall and Associates, a tax preparation firm in Butler, also didn’t see a drop off in those needing tax preparation services.
“We haven’t missed a beat,” he said.
Trump said that if people are expecting refunds, they should go ahead and file now so that they can get their refunds from the IRS more quickly.
The administration had announced earlier in the week that it would delay the payments, a move that Mnuchin said would leave $300 billion in the economy at a critical time.
The administration used authority under Trump’s national emergency declaration. The delay is available to people who owe $1 million or less and corporations that owe $10 million or less.
It is expected that many states will follow the lead of the federal government and delay their tax filing deadlines as well but that will be a state-by-state decision.
“Hopefully they will follow suit,” Randall said.
Mnuchin had said the payment delay could provide $300 billion in temporary support to the economy by giving households and businesses the ability to use money they would have paid to the IRS as financial support to meet other needs during the economic emergency created by the efforts to contain the coronavirus.
The administration is working with Congress to develop a $1 trillion support package and Mnuchin has said the IRS payment delay will add $300 billion to that effort.
Grenci sees one problem with the plan, however.
“The negative is an extension can be a double-edged sword. It’s human nature to put things off,” he said. “But a little procrastination isn’t a bad thing in this situation.”