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Coronavirus extends tax filing deadline, relieving stress for many taxpayers

Posted at 4:51 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 18:33:25-04

PARMA, Ohio — One of the biggest things we're seeing throughout the coronavirus outbreak is flexibility. Parents pinch-hitting for teachers and businesses letting employees work from home. Now, the federal government's getting in on the movement, extending the deadline to get your taxes done.

“This was really a good move," said Michael Simic, CPA.

The typical mad dash to get taxes filed by the April 15 deadline is pushed back to July 15 because of fallout from the coronavirus.

"All this comes as a relief to everybody. Reduces the pressures that we have to finalize or extend all the clients," Simic said.

Simic, along with other tax preparers, now have an extra 91 days to get their clients’ paperwork complete.

"Ohio is a piggyback state, so they are going to follow the IRS guidelines. It's going to be automatically extended for the state too," Simic said.

For many taxpayers, the risk of getting sick is keeping them at home. The extension will allow taxpayers and businesses additional time to not only file but also make payments without interest or penalties.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this move leaves $300 billion in the hands of Americans to help keep them afloat during this economic emergency.

"So, what we're seeing is some governmental generosity here and consideration and compassion that's all people want," said Pat Rolince, a taxpayer.

In addition to the state of Ohio following suit, Simic expects those who pay the Regional Income Tax (RITA) will also get extra time.

A few taxpayers we caught up with weren’t interested in taking advantage of the extension.

"When I contemplated doing taxes, even though the extension was in place, I needed to get here soon as possible being in the age range I am," said Rolince.

Alex Machaskee said he didn’t want to take any chances with the coronavirus outbreak.

"I want to get it over with. By next week we might be in a lock down,” Machaskee said.

As he watched businesses across town shutter to maintain social distance, Simic said he got worried.

"We were concerned that they may also shut us down."

He had hoped he'd be able to maintain operations since his office generates payroll checks for about 200 small businesses across in Northeast Ohio.

"We're going to be open for that reason," Simic said.

While some tax preparers and procrastinators are celebrating the extension, Mnuchin is encouraging all taxpayers who are getting a refund to file right away so they can get their money and further stimulate the economy.