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Jay Heflin

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The Treasury Department is weighing extending the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns due to the spread of the coronavirus that could force IRS workers to work from home, according to multiple reports.

The extension could be part of the stimulus package that the White House is trying to formulate, which is expected to include some form of payroll tax relief.

Tax season kicked off on Jan. 27. More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before returns are due, according to the IRS. The agency expects that roughly 90% of individuals will file their returns electronically. It remains an open question how quickly tax refunds would be processed for taxpayers, who file their returns early despite the fact that the April 15 deadline has been pushed back.

If the April 15 tax deadline is delayed, interest and penalties that accompany extensions for filing tax returns late would likely be waived. Normally, taxpayers who choose to file their tax returns after the deadline still must pay taxes owed to the IRS by April 15, or interest and penalties are added to what is already owed.

Details on how the filing delay would work and how long the extension would last have not been ironed out, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A delay in tax filings could add to the federal deficit, as the Treasury Department would likely need to borrow more since it would not be receiving payments from taxpayers by April 15.

Author: Jay Heflin

Source: Washington Examiner: Treasury eyes delaying April 15 tax deadline due to coronavirus

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