Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) led the entire North Carolina congressional delegation in sending a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig and Mark Mazur, the Department of Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy requesting the federal tax filing deadline be extended until June 15, 2021. This delay would help all Americans who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure they are able to file their taxes accurately and access the support available to them to assist in the filing process.
Dear Commissioner Rettig and Acting Assistant Secretary Mazur:
We are writing regarding the federal tax filing deadline for 2021. As our nation continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that you follow the precedent set in 2020 and postpone the April 15 deadline until June 15, 2021.
Tax credits are a critical form of emergency relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Americans have only a handful of weeks to learn about the credits they might be eligible for and file the corresponding forms. We must ensure taxpayers have adequate time to understand how recent changes to the Internal Revenue Code will affect them.
Moreover, many filers have undergone significant life changes over the past year—such as filing for unemployment, receiving loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, receiving economic impact payments, and facing new expenses. Millions of Americans will need to figure out how the changes they have experienced due to COVID-19 will impact their taxes and fill out forms they have never used before. This difficulty is compounded by changing information, including regarding whether economic impact payments and other forms of COVID-19 relief are taxable. Furthermore, the IRS has itself been inundated with questions from taxpayers, meaning that even filers who take the initiative to reach out to the IRS personally face difficulty finding officials available to answer their questions. For example, as of last month, the IRS was able to answer only 27 percent of calls.
Filing taxes can be difficult under normal circumstances, and many Americans rely on tax professionals who file on their behalf. However, CPAs and other tax advisors have faced their own challenges over the course of this pandemic, with many receiving federal assistance themselves as they move their operations into the virtual work environment. As tax professionals continue to work remotely, they rely on electronic IRS forms and online services; however, the IRS has yet to post some forms online.
In order to ensure that all Americans are able to file their taxes accurately and access the support available to them, we ask that the federal filing deadline be postponed two months, until June 15.