Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday he would recommend pushing back the April 15 tax deadline in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“We think we can provide over $200 billion of liquidity into the economy by delaying certain tax payments,” Mnuchin told the committee.
It’s unclear if the delay will be affixed to specific taxpayers. Mnuchin says the extension is intended to help “small and medium-sized businesses and hard-working individuals” heavily impacted by the widespread virus.
The final decision concerning the extension will be made by President Trump. Mnuchin says the Tax Day extension can be rolled out “on an administrative basis” and doesn’t require Congress.
Details of the plan were first reported by The Wall Street Journal late Tuesday.
The move comes after more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S.
Individuals are typically required to pay taxes by April 15 or they face penalties and interest charges. The IRS also grants taxpayers the option to file for a six-month extension.
The Treasury Department could be forced to borrow money following the decision to delay tax payments, the Journal reported. About $333 billion in individual taxes were collected in April last year.
On Tuesday, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee wrote a letter to the IRS on the impact of the coronavirus on tax filing season. The lawmakers requested a “continued evaluation” concerning the need for an extension beyond the April 15 deadline.
Tax Season 2020:What changes to expect this tax season
“Specifically, we are concerned about the ability of the IRS to provide taxpayer assistance and process returns, as well as the ability of taxpayers, free tax preparation sites, and tax professionals to meet the filing deadline,” the lawmakers wrote to IRS Commissioner, Charles P. Retting.
The newly identified coronavirus has infected more than 115,000 worldwide and resulted in more than 4,200 deaths.
Contributing: David Jackson. Follow Jazmin Goodwin on Twitter: @jazminkgoodwin.