Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that tax day will be delayed from April 15 to July 15. He made the announcement on Twitter on Friday, days after announcing a deferral on tax payments but not on filing day.
“All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties,” Mnuchin tweeted.
At @realDonaldTrump’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.— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) March 20, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had also announced that, as part of the House GOP plan for a next round of economic stimulus, he wanted to delay the tax deadline. McConnell’s bill also included provisions to allow individuals making payments to postpone them even further, until Oct. 15.
On March 10, Democratic lawmakers on the Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to the IRS to find out more about any changes for the filing season. “We request your continued evaluation of whether there is any need to extend the tax filing season beyond the April 15 deadline,” they wrote at the time.
As recently as Tuesday, the White House had detailed how taxpayers would be able to defer tax payments but said that tax day itself would stay the same. “All you have to do is file your taxes; you’ll automatically not get charged interest in penalties,” Mnuchin said during that coronavirus briefing.
Taxpayers may be able to get a further extension with a form 4868, which in normal years gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file a return. It was not immediately clear how the delay in tax day would change the extension process.
What remains unchanged after Friday’s announcement is that taxpayers who expect a refund can file right now and get their payments once the return is processed.
In a follow-up tweet, the Treasury Secretary encouraged taxpayers to do just that.
I encourage all taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file now to get your money.— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) March 20, 2020
IRS data through March 6 shows that almost 68 million Americans — roughly half of all filers based on previous years – have taken that advice. Nearly 53 million Americans (at least) have already gotten their refunds.
Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.