For Americans coping with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, tax relief is in sight: The Internal Revenue Service is extending the April 15 deadline for tax payments to July 15. Announced in a Tweet by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the announcement follows an earlier decision to delay the payment deadline in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Customarily, U.S. tax returns must be filed and any taxes owed must be paid by April 15 every year. This year, however, the COVID-19 outbreak has upended workplaces, marketplaces and the economy. In response, the Trump administration has declared that most individuals and businesses will be allowed to delay paying their federal tax bills, penalty-free, for 90 days as part of an emergency relief plan.
Earlier this week, Mnuchin said that a 90-day deferment of tax payments could provide $300 billion of liquidity, which could aid households and businesses in coping with the financial fallout from the novel coronavirus.
FAQs: What the Tax Extension Means for Americans
With the stress of the current economic climate, some taxpayers are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief that they’ve got some extra time to file and pay 2019 taxes. Learn what this extension could mean for you, and talk to your tax advisor if you still have questions.
Who can delay income tax filing and payments?
Will I incur penalties for a delayed payment?
What if the July 15 deadline still doesn’t give me enough time?
I’m expecting a refund. Should I wait until July 15 to file?
How does this extension affect my state income tax return?
4 Tips for Leveraging Tax and Other Payment Extensions
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, but during this time of uncertainty, your taxes and other financial obligations can remain manageable with these four tips.
1. File Online
2. Look Into Your Refund Status
Once your taxes are filed, you can check your refund status via the IRS refund tracking page. Updates will be available after 24 hours if you e-filed; for mailed returns, your status will be available within four weeks.
3. Follow Announcements From Financial Institutions
Bank and credit issuer websites have already begun posting company responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the global crisis, some may be willing to waive overdraft fees or allow you to defer payments on loans and mortgages.
4. Ask for Payment Extensions
If you’ve had work hours reduced, are working in an industry impacted by the coronavirus, or if you've been sick with the coronavirus or are taking care of someone who is, contact your creditors to discuss adjusting payment schedules and waiving fees.
If you are expecting a tax refund, get your money now and put it toward what you need most at this moment. If you’ll owe taxes, rest assured that now you have extra time to pay them, and for now you can put that money toward more urgent financial issues.
Tracy Collins Ortlieb is an award-winning journalist and copywriter. Ortlieb specializes in parenting and family, travel and hospitality, and legal topics for such outlets as Parents, SheKnows, and Avvo. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughters.
US Internal Revenue Service. “Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return.” Accessed March 24, 2020.