White House Postpones Tax Payments for 90 Days for Most Americans

March 17, 2020 Updated: March 17, 2020

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the tax payment deadline for most Americans has been extended by 90 days amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has postponed the filing date to July 15, instead of April 15. Mnuchin said the reprieve would cover a number of small businesses.

The IRS will continue to process tax returns, and taxpayers must file their returns by April 15 but can defer payment for 90 days, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We encourage those Americans who can file their taxes to continue to file their taxes on April 15 because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds and we don’t want you to lose out on those tax refunds,” Mnuchin said. “We want you to make sure you get them.”

The tax relief is for federal returns only. Individual states will have to decide on when residents should pay their taxes. The delay is also for individuals who owe $1 million or less and corporations that owe $10 million and less, according to the Treasury secretary.

During the three-month deferral period, taxpayers won’t have to pay penalties or interest, Mnuchin said.

“We are going to use all the tools we have,” he said. “And what tools we don’t have, we’re going to go to Congress.”

The move drew praise from some members of Congress.

“This action takes one burden off the backs of taxpayers, who are first and foremost trying to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) in a statement.