By Richard Rubin 

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service has extended more tax-filing and payment deadlines to July 15, offering additional delays to help taxpayers and tax professionals cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The delays announced Thursday, which were sought by tax preparers and business groups, expand on relief the IRS previously granted to individuals. The government has given them until July 15 to file and pay the 2019 income taxes that are normally due April 15.

Dozens of required payment and filing deadlines between April 1 and July 15 have now been delayed to July 15 as well. They include estate-tax returns, quarterly estimated income taxes and tax returns for nonprofits.

The delays will help companies with fiscal years that would have put their annual income tax return deadlines in this period. Taxpayers will have more time to file petitions with the U.S. Tax Court, and IRS employees will have more time to take time-sensitive enforcement actions. In all, the IRS is extending more than 300 deadlines, the Treasury Department said in a news release.

Taxpayers don't need to take any action to use the extended deadlines.

"While we immediately need broad relief until July 15, we continue to urge Treasury and IRS to develop a contingency plan for the next phase of relief should that be needed," Barry Melancon, chief executive of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday. "As a country, we should not risk anyone's life to meet tax filing obligations."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has asked for delays at least through Oct. 15 and possibly as far into the future as April 2021.

The previously announced delays are already having an impact on behavior, according to IRS data released Thursday. Through April 3, Americans had filed 6% fewer returns than at this time last year. As recently as two weeks ago, filings were running slightly ahead of last year's pace.

Both people who owe money and those who would receive refunds are waiting to send in their 2019 tax returns. Refunds, which were running less than 1% below last year's pace two weeks ago, are now 3.5% -- or $7.6 billion -- lower than at this time last year.

Write to Richard Rubin at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 09, 2020 19:14 ET (23:14 GMT)

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