Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin prepares to deliver remarks on the coronavirus relief package after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in Russell Building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call | Getty Images
The IRS is moving the national income tax filing day ahead to July 15 as part of a growing effort to stem the financial pain from the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday.
The move gives Americans three months more than they otherwise would have to file their income tax returns.
“At @realDonaldTrump‘s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15,” 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,” he wrote.
In a second tweet, Mnuchin urged taxpayers who might receive refunds this season “to file now to get your money.”
Most Americans receive refunds when they file their tax returns.
As of March 6, the Internal Revenue Service had issued 52.7 million refunds out of the 67.9 million individual income tax returns it had received, or 77.6% of the total number of returns filed by that date.
The average refund check was $3,012, according to IRS data.
Many individual states already had extended their tax filing deadlines to various dates to give people relief from the finanacial 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 all of their deadlines with the new one for federal income tax returns.
The IRS did not immediately return a call for comment from CNBC on questions including whether its deadline extension will also cover the deadline for funding Individual Retirement Accounts for the prior calendar year’s return.
A proposal to move the federal filing deadline to July was included in the Senate’s coronavirus economic stimulus bill released Thursday night by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
That proposed relief package could cost more than $1 trillion.
Earlier this week, the Treasury Department released guidance that would have pushed back just the deadline for making tax payments to July 15.
That 90-day reprieve on payments would have applied to 2019 income taxes owed, plus first quarter tax payments that would have been due on April 15.
But federal lawmakers and members of the tax preparation community had criticized the proposal to have different dates for filing tax returns and making payments.
The White House declined to comment on Mnuchin’s announcement.
– Additional reporting by Kevin Breuninger