MELS UPDATE: COVID-19 and Your Taxes

The IRS has extended the deadline to July 15 for filing tax returns and paying any balance due.

This is important if a taxpayer owes money to the IRS or New York State or may have difficulty putting documents together at this time to prepare a tax return.

Taxpayers should file their tax returns as quickly as possible, especially if they are due refunds. To speed refunds and avoid delays with mail delivery, taxpayers should opt for direct deposit of their refunds.

Congress has enacted economic stimulus legislation to provide monetary relief, especially to those who are unemployed or not receiving their paychecks. The legislation provides for payments to all taxpayers, based upon their 2019 tax return or, if they have not filed yet, 2018.

If a tax return has been filed for 2019, the stimulus check will be based upon 2019 information. If the 2019 return has not been filed, the stimulus check will be based upon the 2018 tax return. If neither has been filed, no stimulus check. However, it is not too late to file a 2018 tax return.

These checks are scheduled to be distributed in April as follows:

Single with annual income up to $75000: $1200

Married couples, whose annual income is up to $150,000: $2400

Heads of Household, who earn up to $112,000: $1200

In addition, $500 will be paid for each child under 17.

Taxpayers who earn over these incomes may receive smaller refunds.

Please note: DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) does not provide legal assistance in tax matters. More information is available from the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Dept. of Taxation and Finance

Resources for free tax preparation may be found through the NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs or by calling 311 in New York City.

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