“With all of the stress and uncertainty of coronavirus, the last thing that families need to be worried about is the taxman’s deadline.”

Today, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, urged the Treasury Department and IRS to give taxpayers an automatic 90-day tax extension given the impact of coronavirus. 

“With all of the stress and uncertainty of coronavirus, the last thing that families need to be worried about is the taxman’s deadline,” said Sasse after sending the letter. “An automatic, nation-wide, 90-day tax extension would help families, boost small businesses, and put billions of dollars into the economy when we need it most.” 

Sasse’s full letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is available here and found below. 

Dear Secretary Mnuchin,

I am writing to you today to request that the United States Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service provide relief to all taxpayers by extending the deadline for tax filings by at least 90 days – from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.  In light of the growing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, such an extension would provide families and small businesses with much needed support at a time when they need it most.  In addition, please adopt measures designed to expedite the review of returns filed by Americans expecting refunds.   

On March 11, during his Oval Office address to the nation, President Trump said that he would direct the Treasury to defer tax payments without interest or penalties for individuals and businesses impacted by the virus.  With the April 15 deadline fast approaching, it is important that the Treasury quickly provide taxpayers with clarity and certainty consistent with the President’s order – and an automatic 90-day extension would do just that.  Further, given the wide-reaching impact of the coronavirus, it is important that this relief be given to all taxpayers.

During your testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations, you stated that a delay in tax payment could have the effect of putting more than $200 billion back into the American economy. This is money, which would have otherwise gone into paying taxes, that could ease the financial burden on millions of Americans and small businesses. This is money that could be used to cover expenses and payroll for small businesses that are experiencing unforeseen financial constraints, or cover unexpected childcare, health care, or education expenses caused by the spread of the virus. With such an unprecedented disruption to the daily lives of all Americans, this relief would provide much needed support to hardworking taxpayers across the country.

As we learn more about the coronavirus and its impact is fully realized, I ask that you continue to stay in touch with my office about additional measures that may need to be taken to ensure taxpayers remain protected throughout this period.  I thank you for your timely attention to this matter and your dedication to providing relief to all Americans.

Ben Sasse
U.S. Senator