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COVID-19

July 15 is Tax Day. And the IRS isn’t pushing it back any further.

David Brancaccio, Nova Safo, and Alex Schroeder Jun 30, 2020
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Despite calls to extend the deadline another three months, the IRS says tax returns are due July 15. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
COVID-19

July 15 is Tax Day. And the IRS isn’t pushing it back any further.

David Brancaccio, Nova Safo, and Alex Schroeder Jun 30, 2020
Heard on:
Despite calls to extend the deadline another three months, the IRS says tax returns are due July 15. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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The deadline to file your tax return this year really is July 15. Really.

Despite calls to extend the deadline another three months, the IRS says no — get your returns in two weeks from now or pay penalties if you owe taxes.

Marketplace’s Nova Safo has the details. The following is an edited transcript of his conversation with “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio.

David Brancaccio: The IRS extended the usual April 15 deadline because of the pandemic. Who’s pushing for a new delay?

Nova Safo: For one, the union representing Treasury Department employees. The union has been expressing concerns over the health of IRS employees who are being called back into the office. And the union says since, in a normal year, people would be able to apply and get an extension until Oct. 15 to file their taxes, the IRS should just offer that date as an automatic extension for everyone.

But the IRS says no. There are some exceptions: Victims of severe weather in parts of the south this past April will have until Oct. 15 to file their returns and make payments.

Brancaccio: Can others also get that Oct. 15 extension if they want it?

Safo: Yes they can, David, but they do have to file for that extension, just like in any other year.

The catch is that if you think you’re going to owe taxes, you still have to pay that amount by July 15, or you’ll accrue penalties and interest. That’s the same as every other year.

Now the good news is the opposite is also true ⁠— if you are due a refund, the IRS will pay you interest on what you’re owed, calculated back to April 15.

So the way that works is if you choose to file your taxes on July 15, that’s three months of interest you’ll get from the IRS on the money you’re owed.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

So what’s up with “Zoom fatigue”?

It’s a real thing. The science backs it up — there’s new research from Stanford University. So why is it that the technology can be so draining? Jeremy Bailenson with Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab puts it this way: “It’s like being in an elevator where everyone in the elevator stopped and looked right at us for the entire elevator ride at close-up.” Bailenson said turning off self-view and shrinking down the video window can make interactions feel more natural and less emotionally taxing.

How are Americans spending their money these days?

Economists are predicting that pent-up demand for certain goods and services is going to burst out all over as more people get vaccinated. A lot of people had to drastically change their spending in the pandemic because they lost jobs or had their hours cut. But at the same time, most consumers “are still feeling secure or optimistic about their finances,” according to Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, which regularly surveys shoppers. A lot of people enjoy browsing in stores, especially after months of forced online shopping. And another area expecting a post-pandemic boost: travel.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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