An extension would give taxpayers until October 15 to file their returns, although they would still have to pay what they owe before July 15 to avoid interest and penalties.
The decision is sure to please many and disappoint others, all of whom had been eagerly awaiting the agency’s decision after Mnuchin said last week that he was considering an additional delay.
The agency had initially delayed the filing deadline by three months in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, a large number of conservative groups had urged Mnuchin for longer, arguing that the economy is still too weak to ask individuals and companies to save a large amount of taxes on the government.
At the same time, a union representing IRS employees also sought a postponement, saying it would allow for greater social distancing and other precautionary measures since agency workers could return to offices more slowly.
On the other hand, they were concerned about everything from spillover effects on state budgets, with many setting their own filing deadlines for the federal government, to tax preparers already facing what may seem like an endless tax season. Others wondered if the additional delays would leave people with snowball tax obligations they couldn’t afford.
IRS figures indicate that nearly 90 percent of taxpayers have already filed, and the rest are disproportionately wealthy.
The agency said it has programs to help people who cannot pay their balances due before July 15.
“We have many payment options to help taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “These easy-to-use payment options are available on IRS.gov, and most can be done automatically without contacting an IRS representative.”