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U.S. Extends Individual Tax Filing Deadline from April 15 to July 15

Tax preparers and lawmakers in both parties urged that the traditional April 15 deadline be moved due to the coronavirus

WASHINGTON—The U.S. is extending the April 15 tax-filing deadline to July 15, giving people more time to prepare and pay their taxes during the coronavirus outbreak, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday.

“All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties,” Mr. Mnuchin said on Twitter.

Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service said that most taxpayers could defer payments until July but would still have to file their tax returns or seek extensions by April 15. That announcement drew quick criticism from lawmakers and tax preparers, who warned that they couldn’t get those filings done or would have to risk their safety and health to do it.

Mr. Mnuchin urged Americans who are expecting tax refunds to file when they can, so that they can get their money.

Mr. Mnuchin’s tweets didn’t specify how the updated deadlines would work. The IRS typically handles that with a detailed notice, but that hasn’t been released yet.

That notice may say whether estimated tax payments are still due in April and June. It may also say whether someone seeking a six-month extension would have to file by October or by January 2021.

It may also specify whether the payment-deferral limits announced earlier this week—$1 million for individuals and $10 million for corporations—still apply.

Credit: The Wall Street Journal

Year-End planning:  Last chance opportunity to deduct general sales and use taxes?

The next few months may provide a last chance opportunity for taxpayers who itemize deductions to deduct state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes.  That's because the option to deduct sales taxes is set to expire at the end of 2011.  Accordingly, individuals who are considering the purchase of a big-ticket item may want to push the purchase into this year to achieve a higher itemized deduction for sales taxes.

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