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The IRS is planning to extend the tax-filing deadline to mid-May, according to two top House Democrats.

A news release Wednesday from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) states that the deadline will be moved from April 15 to May 17.

The development comes after Neal, Pascrell and other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pressed for an extension of the April 15 deadline in recent weeks.

“This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis,” Neal and Pascrell said. “Under titanic stress and strain, American taxpayers and tax preparers must have more time to file tax returns. And the IRS itself started the filing season late, continues to be behind schedule, and now must implement changes from the American Rescue Plan.”

Bloomberg News first reported the development.

The IRS extended last year’s filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many lawmakers and tax preparers pressed the agency to take similar action this year, saying that many of the pandemic-related challenges that impacted last year’s filing season are continuing.

The IRS has already extended the filing deadline to June 15 for residents of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma because of winter storms.

Those advocating for an extension also noted that this year’s tax-filing season started later than usual and that the agency has processed fewer tax returns than it had at a similar point last year.

The calls for extending the filing season have escalated in recent days after President Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The IRS is tasked with implementing many provisions in the bill, and households also have questions about them. One of the key provisions that taxpayers have questions about is one that exempts from taxes the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits that people received in 2020.

Neal and Pascrell said that while they appreciate the IRS’s decision to issue a one-month extension, they will “continue to monitor developments during this hectic filing season.”

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig is scheduled to testify before the subcommittee Pascrell leads on Thursday afternoon.

Source: The HILL

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