March 20 (UPI) — All Americans will have an extra three months to file their federal tax returns this year due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Treasury Department announced Friday.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the deadline to file has been moved from April 15 to July 15, to give taxpayers more time to submit their financial documents. Mnuchin said President Donald Trump ordered the change.
“All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties,” he said.
“I encourage all taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file now to get your money.”
The change, however, applies only to federal tax returns. States that collect income tax set their own deadlines.
The Internal Revenue Service said nearly 68 million Americans have already filed their federal returns.
The tax relief is one of several measures the Trump administration has imposed or proposed to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
Also Friday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said anyone with federal student loans can choose to have their payments suspended.
“These are anxious times, particularly for students and families whose educations, careers, and lives have been disrupted,” she said in a statement. “Right now, everyone should be focused on staying safe and healthy, not worrying about their student loan balance growing.”
She said borrowers can have their payments suspended for at least 60 days. Those who are behind on their payments by more than 31 days as of March 13 will automatically have their payments suspended.
All federal student loans will automatically have their interest rates set at 0 percent for at least 60 days.
Trump previously said the accrual of interest on federal student loans would be temporarily suspended amid the pandemic.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration rolled out a series of proposals to deal with the effects of the health crisis, including a $1 trillion plan that would send stimulus payments to most Americans, if approved by Congress. The payments would be a measure to stabilize a volatile economy.
The plan calls for sending initial payments of $1,000 within three weeks and another payment six weeks later, if there’s still a national emergency. Households with children would also receive $500 per child, Mnuchin said.