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IRS planning to delay income tax-filing deadline to May 17

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Disruptions related to COVID-19 and new tax laws are reported factors

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is planning to delay the April 15 tax-filing deadline to May 17, Bloomberg Tax reported Wednesday afternoon, citing a pair of senior House Democrats.

What are the details?

"This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis," House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) , head of the panel's oversight subcommittee, said in a statement Wednesday, according to the outlet. "While we are pleased with this 30-day extension, we will continue to monitor developments during this hectic filing season."

The IRS and Treasury didn't respond to requests to comment on the delay, Bloomberg Tax reported, adding that White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the change hasn't been "finalized quite yet."

More from Bloomberg Tax:

The filing extension gives taxpayers additional breathing room to meet their tax obligations in what is becoming one of the most complicated tax seasons in decades. The change would come after calls from accountants and lawmakers to put off the due date as new legislation and pandemic-related work changes disrupt taxpayer plans.

Among the changes this tax season are last-minute amendments to the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill signed into law earlier this month that give filers a new tax exemption on up to $10,200 of jobless benefits. The individual tax return, Form 1040, is also the mechanism for people to claim any missing $1,200 or $600 stimulus payments from last year.

Besides the disruptions from the pandemic, the changes in tax law will mean some filers will have to wait for updated forms, resubmit their returns, or consult a tax adviser on how to proceed if they've already filed.

Neal, Pascrell, as well as Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) — the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee — had asked IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig to delay the filing deadline, the outlet added.

It was around this time last year — when the coronavirus lockdowns began taking place — that then-President Donald Trump's administration extended the tax return-filing deadline to July 15.

More from Bloomberg Tax:

As of early March 2021, the IRS has been behind last year's metrics in the number of tax returns filed and processed, and in the number of refunds issued. The filing season, which began Feb. 12, started about two weeks later than usual — contributing to the slump.

The tax extension also comes as the IRS has been handed another big task: processing a third round of direct payments to households, this time for $1,400 each. The IRS said Wednesday it has so far sent about 90 million payments totaling $242 billion.

You can read the full Bloomberg Tax article here.

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