"People First Initiative" – IRS Extends Tax Deadlines and Postpones Compliance Programs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has taken a number of steps to assist taxpayers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This includes an extension of tax due dates for filing and payments, as well as temporary suspension of compliance actions. During this time, the IRS will continue to operate its mission-critical functions, such as processing income tax returns and tax refunds.

The IRS's program is called the "People First Initiative." It covers a variety of tax-related items, including provisions for upcoming tax deadlines, tax payment plans (e.g., installment agreements and offers in compromise), tax debt collection, automated tax liens/levies, passport certifications, wage verification, and more.

"The new IRS People First Initiative provides immediate relief to help people facing uncertainty over taxes. We are temporarily adjusting our processes to help people and businesses during these uncertain times. We are facing this together, and we want to be part of the solution to improve the lives of all people in our country," said IRS Commissioner, Chuck Rettig.

Tax Due Dates Have Been Extended This Year

Typically, the deadline for filing a federal income tax return is April 15. This year it has been moved to July 15, 2020 in an effort to ease the burden on taxpayers dealing with Coronavirus-related issues. Furthermore, income tax payments that are usually due on April 15, 2020 have been postponed and are now due by July 15, 2020.

This is an automatic tax extension that covers all U.S. taxpayers, including individuals and businesses. No penalties or interest will be charged as long as the correct forms are filed and taxes paid by the extended deadline of July 15. Keep in mind that this only covers federal tax due dates, and state taxing authorities may have set different rules.

Tax Refunds Are Still Being Issued

If you expect a tax refund on your 2019 return, it's recommended that you file as soon as you can to receive your money. To get a faster refund, you should file your tax return electronically and select the Direct Deposit option.

What's Next

According to IRS Commissioner, Chuck Rettig, "The IRS will continue to review and, where appropriate, modify or expand the People First Initiative as we continue reviewing our programs and receive feedback from others. We are committed to helping people get through this period, and our employees will remain focused on these and other helpful efforts in the days and weeks ahead. I ask for your personal support, your understanding – and your patience – as we navigate our way forward together. Stay safe and take care of your families, friends and others."