In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration recently announced that they will delay Tax Day for three months – moving the deadline to file taxes from April 15 to July 15.
This is good news. As noted by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, this will give businesses and individuals more time to file without incurring penalties.
At a time that many Americans are experiencing financial difficulties from a lost job or fewer work hours, this decision will help ensure much-needed liquidity to meet everyday expenses.
However, this should not be an excuse for Americans to sit on their hands if they are due to receive a refund, as a majority of taxpayers receive every year.
Taxpayers should file as soon as possible so that they receive their money back from the government as soon as possible. Failure to do so means extending the interest free loan that many individuals give the government from overpaying taxes throughout the year.
According to IRS data, almost three in four Americans receive a tax refund averaging $3,000. Despite this, many people wait until the last minute to file every year.
Based on prior years, an estimated 35 million Americans – or 25 percent of total filers – wait until the last two weeks of tax season (April 1-15) to file. Of these 35 million taxpayers, over half receive a refund averaging $2,000.
This could equal to $35 billion that can be sent back to the economy -- money which the IRS owes taxpayers. At the best of times, this is a significant sum. At a time of unprecedented economic volatility, this injection of cash is vital.
While the administration should be praised for delaying the tax deadline, this should not be an excuse for needless delay on the part of American taxpayers. They should file as quickly as possible to receive the thousands of dollars they are likely owed -- a move that will collectively inject billions of dollars into the economy.