Treasury Department: US tax filing deadline moved to July 15

Americans will have an additional three months to file their taxes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the US Treasury Secretary said on Friday. (File)
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WASHINGTON (CNN) Americans will have an additional three months to file their taxes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the US Treasury Secretary said on Friday.

"We are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15," Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote on Twitter. "All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties."

He said he was acting at President Donald Trump's direction.

The White House had announced previously they were deferring tax payments for 90 days, but that Americans would still need to file by April 15.

Now, the deadline will be extended into the summer.

Mnuchin said Americans with refunds should still file now.

"I encourage all taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file now to get your money," he wrote.

A local economist said Friday the government’s move to push off the annual tax deadline by three months is good for everybody during the coronavirus pandemic

“The additional time allowed to make payments is helpful to anyone who owes federal taxes, and those who are expecting refunds can go ahead and file,” according to Ray Perryman, of the Perryman Group, a Waco-based economic study group.

“Any action by the federal government which helps families and business owners deal with this unprecedented situation and the related uncertainty may decrease fallout, and is worthy of consideration and implementation,” Perryman said.

“By allowing more time for tax preparation, accounting firms can better keep employees safe and deal with issues such as social distancing and other disruptions,” Perryman pointed out, and he added: “The timing change should not affect individuals' tax returns, but allowing more flexibility is beneficial to some.”

Perryman also said “from the perspective of the economy, the change to July 15 keeps more cash in the hands of individuals and business owners who may need the extra capital to weather virus-related business or work losses.”

(Paul J. Gately contributed to this story)