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3 in 10 Americans have lost income, poll finds


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Tax Day is NOT April 15 this year. The federal filing deadline was pushed to July 15, but may differ based on the state your taxes are filed in.

USA TODAY

Mark this down as the strangest Tax Day in recent memory.

While April 15 is typically the tax filing deadline, this year Americans have a reprieve due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But less than half of Americans are taking advantage of the extension of the deadline to pay Uncle Sam, according to a new poll.

The Harris Poll found that 43% of Americans are taking advantage of the filing extension to July 15, while the rest plan to file by today. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans are aware of the extension.

The poll of a nationally representative survey of 2,013 U.S. adults was taken April 11-13.

Americans are already immersed in a personal finance crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has shut down most restaurant dining, travel and non-essential retail.

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About 3 in 10 Americans have already lost some income, 3 in 10 have stopped or cut back on their retirement savings and 3 in 10 have added debt during the pandemic, according to the poll.

“Cash flow is now as important to Americans as Purell and toilet paper,” Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema said in an interview. 

About 1 in 4 have missed or expect to soon miss a bill payment, while about 1 in 5 has missed or expects to soon miss a rent or mortgage payment.

Some 55% of Americans are concerned that they may lose their job due to this crisis. Among all Americans, 53% say they’re not pulling money out of their 401(k) plan, while 12% are, and the rest don’t have a 401(k).

America has suddenly become a “cash-strapped society that’s increasingly concerned about how long this economic malaise is going to last,” Gerzema said.

That’s probably one reason many people aren’t waiting to file their taxes, he said.

“It’s the old adage: Money in the bank now is better than money in the future and I think that’s especially true for Americans right now,” he said. “People are trying to weather the storm and batten down the hatches.”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

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