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Federal tax filing and payment deadline extended due to coronavirus

Internal Revenue Service building Washington, D.C., on a sunny dayImage: Internal Revenue Service building Washington, D.C., on a sunny day

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Americans grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will get some extra time to file and pay their federal income taxes this year. The U.S. is extending the April 15 deadline for tax forms and payments to July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet Friday.

The announcement comes after a decision earlier this week to delay the payment deadline in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally, tax returns and any tax you owe are due by April 15. But this year the government will permit taxpayers to file and pay by July 15 and will waive any penalties and interest that otherwise would apply during this three-month period.

Mnuchin said earlier this week that deferring tax payments could provide $300 billion of liquidity, which could help families and businesses as they cope with the financial fallout from the coronavirus.

Note that the extension doesn’t mean you can skip filing or paying your federal income taxes altogether for the 2019 tax year. It just means you may be able to delay payment of any taxes you owe, up to $1 million, and you have an additional 90 days — until July 15, 2020 — to file your federal income tax return for 2019. 

What can you do?

The coronavirus pandemic is an evolving situation — but there are ways you can manage your taxes and other financial obligations during this time of uncertainty.

  • File your taxes online. If you haven’t already filed your taxes, you may be able to file them online for free through the IRS Free File program or with certain tax providers.
  • Check your tax refund status. If you’ve already filed your taxes, you can check the status of your refund through the IRS refund tracking page. If you e-filed, updates will be available after 24 hours. If you mailed your return, information will be available four weeks after you sent in your forms.
  • Keep an eye out for statements from financial institutions. Check your bank or credit issuer’s websites — some have begun posting information about their COVID-19 response. Some of them may be willing to do things like waive overdraft fees or offer payment assistance on accounts, based on how credit issuers reacted during last year’s federal government shutdown.
  • Ask your utility providers and creditors for a payment extension. If you’re worried you might miss work and a paycheck, it’s a good idea to reach out to your landlord, bank or other creditors to discuss adjusting payment schedules or waiving fees.

About the author: Paris Ward is a content strategist at Credit Karma, providing readers with the latest news that will aid their financial progress. She has more than a decade of experience as a writer an… Read more.