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NY delegation calls for federal tax deadline extension

Rep. Kathleen Rice at Oceanside Middle School on

Rep. Kathleen Rice at Oceanside Middle School on March 8. Credit: James Carbone

Members of the New York congressional delegation, consisting of a bipartisan group led by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), have petitioned the IRS to extend the national tax filing deadline past April 15, saying the current coronavirus pandemic has left little time for many state residents to even file the paperwork necessary for extensions.

The letter to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig comes after President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the federal government was waiving interest and penalties on tax payments for 90 days. But, the letter noted, “the Administration is still encouraging taxpayers to file by the April 15 deadline.”

The letter states: “The COVID-19 virus has hit New York State particularly hard. There is growing concern about the ability of the IRS to provide taxpayer assistance and the ability of taxpayers and tax professionals to meet the filing deadline of April 15th due to the outbreak in New York and across the country. Extending the tax filing deadline will help mitigate the effects of the spread of COVID-19 for many individuals and businesses facing disruptions during this time."

The letter also notes that on March 11, Mnuchin and Trump announced plans to delay the April 15 tax deadline for certain individuals and small businesses affected by COVID-19.

"However, the IRS and the Treasury Department have yet to provide specific details on when the extended deadline will be implemented, how relief will be administered, and who it will cover," the letter says.

In a statement released with the letter, Rice said: “Our healthcare workers are working around the clock, sacrificing so much of their personal time to help those in need. Given this unprecedented crisis, we must extend the time for filing any return or extension beyond the current deadlines."

A representative from the Internal Revenue Service did not immediately return a call for comment.

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In addition to Rice, the letter is signed by Reps. Peter King, Thomas Suozzi, Hakeem Jeffries, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, Max Rose, Adriano Espaillat, José Serrano, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Sean Patrick Maloney, Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, Anthony Brindisi, John Katko, Joseph Morelle and Brian Higgins.

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