WASHINGTON, D.C. – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday the Trump administration has decided to push the income tax filing date back 90 days.
Mnuchin announced the decision in a tweet Friday saying that at President Donald Trump’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.”
The administration had announced earlier in the week that it would delay the payments, a move that Mnuchin said would leave $300 billion in the economy at a critical time.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said individuals will be able to delay paying up to $1 million in payments. Corporations will be able to defer payment on up to $10 million.
The IRS is using authority under Trump’s national emergency declaration to take the step of approving the 90-day payment delay. Mnuchin encouraged taxpayers to keep filing their returns because many of them will be receiving refunds that they will be able to use to pay bills during the economic downturn.
As of Feb. 21, the IRS had issued more than 37.4 million refunds averaging $3,125.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said that the tax delay program was only a stop-gap program but that it should help cushion the economy during a period of severe stress.
“Individuals and small businesses need cash right now,” Zandi said. “Anything that delays them having to send a check to the IRS will allow them to pay for their groceries and make mortgage payments and pay other bills.”
Under normal filing procedures, taxpayers must pay their obligations by April 15, although they can get a six-month extension to file the full return.
Mnuchin, who spoke to reporters at the White House, said that as part of a stimulus plan being negotiated with Congress, the administration is considering ways to send checks to Americans to help alleviate the impact of job losses from layoffs at restaurants and the tourism industry.
“Americans need cash now, and the president wants to give cash now and I mean now in the next two weeks,” Mnuchin said.
AP White House reporter Darlene Superville and AP Business Writer Sarah Sell contributed to this report.