The IRS extended the tax deadline to July 15 and at least 21 million Americans took advantage
- The federal tax deadline was pushed from April 15 to July 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- IRS data shows roughly 21 million fewer tax returns were filed by the April deadline this year than in 2019, suggesting many Americans took advantage of the automatic extension.
- But that's likely an undercount. The IRS tracks the total number of returns it receives — this year that figure includes people who used the non-filers tool to get a stimulus check.
- Despite a drop in the number of people filing taxes, the IRS is behind on processing returns, potentially leading to a delay in refunds.
The coronavirus outbreak was declared a national emergency in March and government officials were quick to consider its effect on the upcoming federal tax deadline.With in-person businesses closing rapidly, offices transitioning to remote work where possible, and a cloud of uncertainty — and frankly, panic — settling in, many Americans would presumably find the April 15 due date difficult to meet.
At least 21 million taxpayers skipped the former April 15 tax deadlineMillions of Americans took advantage of the tax extension as the coronavirus outbreak continued to wreak havoc on the US economy. According to IRS data, the agency received just over 137.2 million individual income tax returns by April 19 last year, the week taxes were due. That includes single and joint filers.
This year, the IRS received roughly 116 million tax returns in the week ending April 17. That shakes out to about 21.3 million fewer submissions by Tax Day in 2020 than in 2019 — at least.The IRS had an extra load to carry this year thanks to the stimulus checks, or recovery rebates, enacted in the CARES Act. Most people were sent direct cash payments according to the income and banking information reported on their 2019 tax returns, or their 2018 return if they hadn't yet filed this year. But the IRS asked Americans with no tax liability to submit their income information through a non-filers tool, which generated a simple tax return by which the agency could calculate and send their payment as quickly as possible. These simple tax returns are included in the IRS' total returns figure, artificially inflating the number of tax returns filed in comparison to past years.
In other words, only 116 million tax returns were filed by mid-April this year, representing a 15% decrease from the same period in 2019. But since non-filers are included in that total, the drop is assumed to be even greater.
It's been 2 months since the deadline was extended, and people are still taking their time
While more than 21 million Americans overlooked the former April
But even despite the drop in returns received, the IRS is behind on processing, likely due to shutdowns related to the coronavirus. By the first week of May 2020, the agency paid out 87.7 million refunds, compared to about 101.6 million by the same time last year.Read the original article on Business Insider
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