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The Tax Filing Deadline Might Be Extended By 5 Weeks

Democrats have introduced a bill to extend the tax-filing deadline by 5 weeks, to May 20, to provide taxpayers more time to file following the January partial government shutdown. There is lingering uncertainty in the air over significant changes to the tax code and tax forms in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Sean Casten, D-Ill. and Lauren Underwood, D-Ill. Introduced the Taxpayer Extension Act to extend the deadline for individual tax returns. The representatives noted that during the 35-day partial federal government shutdown, the IRS sent 90 percent of its workforce home without pay. The five week extension is meant to provide additional time equal to the time lost during the government shutdown.

Many taxpayers have been hit with sticker shock due to the tax changes enacted by President Trump, and the five week extension is meant to help mitigate that, providing Americans with extra time to come up with the funds to pay their tax bills. Additionally, the extension will help avoid the types of computer systems breakdowns that the IRS encountered in April of 2018 and alleviate the burden on the IRS’s filing systems.

Casten and Underwood stated that the Taxpayer Extension Act is “common sense legislation,” especially for Illinois taxpayers (particularly those in the 14th district) who are running unexpectedly high tax bills due to the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deduction in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation also released an analysis calling for a tax-filing deadline extension, citing the historic 35-day shutdown that left the IRS scrambling to work through a backlog of preparations. The shutdown left taxpayers without adequate support while service centers were unstaffed and forms were not yet finalized.

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