Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday that Tax Day, April 15, has been moved to July 15.
What does that mean for taxpayers?
Here’s how this will work:
- You can file your federal taxes anytime between now and July 15.
- If you are getting a tax refund, which more than 70% of Americans do, you can still file your taxes now and get your money. And the Treasury Secretary is actually encouraging that.
- If you owe the government money, you’ll have until mid-July to pay it. The thinking here is that this will keep money in people’s pockets for longer.
A few caveats:
- This only applies to federal tax returns. Whether you still have to file your state and local taxes by April 15 depends on where you live.
- The clinics where you can go to get your taxes done for free are closed now, because of social distancing guidelines. People who rely on those clinics are often eligible to use free online software to file instead. But not everyone is able to do that.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What do I need to know about tax season this year?
Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.
How long will it be until the economy is back to normal?
It feels like things are getting better, more and more people getting vaccinated, more businesses opening, but we’re not entirely out of the woods. To illustrate: two recent pieces of news from the Centers for Disease Control. Item 1: The CDC is extending its tenant eviction moratorium to June 30. Item 2: The cruise industry didn’t get what it wanted — restrictions on sailing from U.S. ports will stay in place until November. Very different issues with different stakes, but both point to the fact that the CDC thinks we still have a ways to go before the pandemic is over, according to Dr. Philip Landrigan, who used to work at the CDC and now teaches at Boston College.
How are those COVID relief payments affecting consumers?
Payments started going out within days of President Joe Biden signing the American Rescue Plan, and that’s been a big shot in the arm for consumers, said John Leer at Morning Consult, which polls Americans every day. “Consumer confidence is really on a tear. They are growing more confident at a faster rate than they have following the prior two stimulus packages.” Leer said this time around the checks are bigger and they’re getting out faster. Now, rising confidence is likely to spark more consumer spending. But Lisa Rowan at Forbes Advisor said it’s not clear how much or how fast.
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