NTEU calls on IRS to further extend tax filing deadline
- By Nathan Abse
- May 18, 2020
The federal tax return deadline -- already pushed back to July 15 due to the COVID-19 crisis -- must be extended another three months, to Oct.15, according to the union representing IRS workers.
“It has been eight weeks since we proposed giving taxpayers an additional six months to complete their 2019 federal returns, and it remains painfully clear they still need more time to file and employees need more time to safely process those returns,” the National Treasury Employee Union’s National President Tony Reardon said in a statement.
NTEU leaders pressed the administration to reschedule the deadline to Oct. 15, sharing their reasoning that, this year as every other, taxpayers can already request a six-month extension for filing the income tax document.
Yet, officials at the Treasury Department and the IRS initially only agreed to the three-month extension.
Now, with the coronavirus still killing more than 1,000 Americans every day -- and with “the curve” not even flattened in every state -- pushing back the deadline, the union said, “would also help protect the men and women who work on the frontlines at the IRS, opening mail, providing customer service and handling tax documents.”
“With less of a time crunch, the agency can gradually ramp up agency operations in a way that keeps employees at a safe physical distance from each other at the workplace,” Reardon said. “It also buys the agency more time to acquire adequate supplies of personal protective equipment and build work schedules that allow for thorough cleaning and disinfecting between shifts.”
The union also noted that although many IRS employees are being permitted to do their jobs via telework, many others still are not. “The IRS is returning more of those employees to the workplace precisely because of the ongoing tax filing season,” the union said.
"Our schools, our work, our social lives and our entire economy have been paralyzed, so it makes good sense that we alleviate some of the pressure by giving everyone until Oct. 15 to file their federal tax returns,” Reardon said.