Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested that the tax deadline might be extended again from July 15 until Sept. 15 as the U.S. economy still tries to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As of now, we’re not intending on doing that, but it is something that we may consider,” Mnuchin told Bloomberg News this week when he was asked about extending the deadline for another three months. “I would encourage all Americans, if you can file, go ahead and do it, particularly if you think you have a refund.”
Earlier this year, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pushed back the traditional April 15 filing date to July 15, giving people three months to complete their federal income taxes. Some states have different deadlines, however.
The IRS has reported that it has received 136.5 million individual income tax returns as of mid-June, suggesting that many Americans have already filed their taxes.
Mnuchin told Bloomberg that his department will “look carefully” at whether the date should be moved as July 15 approaches.
After noting that he met with Senate Republicans this week before the Bloomberg interview, Mnuchin said that discussions about a potential new stimulus bill were held.
“We want to make sure whatever we do going forward is much more targeted to the businesses that are most impacted,” Mnuchin said, adding that he hopes the package could pass in July. The $600 weekly supplement to workers’ unemployment insurance will expire at the end of the month.
In March, the Trump administration signed into law a measure that distributed up to $1,200 to eligible Americans, increased unemployment insurance payments, and also provided small business relief. President Donald Trump on Monday told a reporter that he supports sending out more direct payments under the next bill, although some GOP lawmakers have not expressed a willingness to pass the measure.
In the same interview, Mnuchin said that he expects the U.S. economy to emerge from recession territory, coming after more than 40 million people lost their jobs amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. Most governors implemented statewide stay-at-home measures to curb the spread of the virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged in mainland China last year.
He also said that it’s not likely that the United States will shut down its economy like it did starting in March, even if CCP virus cases increase.
“Right now, we’re in a different situation,” Mnuchin said, noting that hospitals in most places are not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and more knowledge has been gathered about the virus.