US to extend tax filing deadline to July 15
The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is extending the federal income tax filing deadline to July 15 as part of the efforts to minimise the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced.
At President Donald Trump's direction, "we are moving tax day from April 15 to July 15", Mnuchin tweeted on Friday.
"All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties."
In a follow-up tweet, the Treasury Secretary urged taxpayers who may have tax refunds to "file now to get your money", reports Xinhua news agency.
According to official data, the IRS had received 76,191,000 individual income tax returns as of March 13, and had issued 59,235,000 refunds, accounting for 77.7 per cent of the total number filed. The average refund was $2,973.
On Wednesday, the Treasury Department and IRS issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, until July 15, without penalties or interest, and corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments.
Despite the deferment of tax payments, Mnuchin said on Wednesday that Americans should file their tax returns by April 15, which has triggered criticism from lawmakers and tax experts.
The deferment of tax payments, which will result in about $300 billion of additional liquidity in the economy, is part of a trillion-dollar stimulus package currently under discussion among US lawmakers.
The Senate introduced the bill on Thursday, outlining provisions to send direct cash payments for working Americans, provide federally guaranteed loans for small businesses and tax cuts for corporations, as well as offering financial support for airlines and other hard-hit industries.
"The nation's needs and expectations are clear. Workers, families, small businesses, and the foundations of our economy itself need swift action," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted on Friday.
"We're going to stay until we get this done," McConnell said.
As of Friday, the number of confirmed cases in the US stood at 19,624, while the death toll increased to 260. IANS