For the past few weeks, the Coronavirus pandemic, or Covid-19, has been changing our health habits, how we interact, and our economy. Now it’s changing when we file our taxes.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced a significant change to upcoming the tax deadline: Tax Day has officially been moved.
The Original Tax Filing Deadline In 2020
Since 1954, April 15th has been a meaningful date for American taxpayers. That’s the day that individual tax returns have been due. In 2020 — before the Coronavirus pandemic — your personal tax return was due on Wednesday, April 15th.
To meet the deadline, your return would have been considered on-time if it was properly addressed and mailed by the due date. If you filed online, your return needed to be submitted by the end of April 15th in whatever time zone you live in.
Coronavirus Tax Extension
On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced in a tweet:
This is the government's way of providing coronavirus tax relief.
While this mandate doesn’t apply to state tax returns, many are expecting the states to follow suit in the days to come.
For example, California already moved its state tax-filing day to June 15. Also, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Service said in a statement we “will adjust due dates for filing and payment of state income taxes to align with any specific, actionable announcement from the Internal Revenue Service regarding due dates for the filing and payment of federal income taxes.”
Stay up to date with the local news in your state to find out exactly when their deadline will be.
Should You Take Advantage of the Coronavirus Tax Extension?
While this gives Americans more time to file and pay their taxes while facing this ongoing pandemic, Mnuchin’s advice is that if you are anticipating receiving a tax refund, you can benefit from filing now — and not waiting.
How Long Does a Tax Return Take?
If you file now, as Mnuchin said, you can have that return in hand sooner than later to help with bills in case you are facing unemployment, debt or other expenses.
Once you file your return and you are given a refund, expect the return, on average, within 21 days.
How Much Money Can I Expect From A Tax Return?
Simply put, if you overpay in taxes through the year, the IRS will send you a refund. Your refund can be significant, too.
According to recent IRS data, the average refund check is $2,973.
Continued Learning About Taxes and Tax Strategy
Even though the filing deadline has changed, the principles of tax strategy haven't.
While filing taxes may not be the most enjoyable experience, it is important to learn about taxes and the filing process so that, in the end, you can save money. Here are a few resources to do just that.
- Learn 4 proven ways to pay less taxes
- Discover how tax write offs really work
- If this is your first year filing small business taxes, this guide will help you through the process
- Utilize these effective tax strategies to reduce your taxable income
Editor’s Note: Here at WealthFit, our goal is to help you understand how Coronavirus, or Covid-19, is impacting your finances. To read more about the symptoms and how to get tested, you can find these resources from the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC).
Cash Lambert is WealthFit's Managing Editor. He is the author of Waves of Healing: How Surfing Changes the Lives of Children with Autism.