As individuals continue to navigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, industry groups are looking to give them additional relief by requesting the deadline to file 2019 tax returns is extended even further.
The National Treasury Employees Union is calling on the government to delay the deadline for filing individual income returns to Oct. 15 from July 15.
The group pointed out the pandemic continues to weigh on the U.S. economy – with more than 36 million Americans filing for unemployment since mid-March and the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.7 percent in April.
“Depression-level unemployment, more than 1.3 million cases of coronavirus and 82,000 deaths are clear signs that Americans are carrying a stressful load right now and the least we can do is give them a few more months to do their taxes,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said in a statement.
The Trump administration announced in March it would extend the filing deadline until July 15 from April 15 – marking the first time in history the deadline has been moved.
Extending the deadline out further would also allow the IRS to continue to bring personnel back in a safe manner to help process the returns, the NTEU said.
As previously reported by FOX Business, President Trump has said he is open to additional tax deadline delays as a means to help Americans weather coronavirus-related financial stresses.
“We have to help people,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House earlier this month. “We could do things … through executive order or otherwise that can help a lot of people – as an example like delays, we could do delays of various filings. And yeah, I could see that happening.”
It was not immediately clear which filings he was referring to and whether they would include the deadline for filing federal individual income returns.
The administration’s extension appears to have caused a number of people to put off filing. The IRS reported that it had received about 128 million returns as of May 8 – a more than 9 percent decline when compared with the same period last year. The average refund was $2,779.
The government has urged people who are expecting a tax refund not to wait to file their returns, as that money could help them over the near term.