Casten, Underwood Stand with Individual Tax Filers Introducing a Bill to Extend the Tax Filing Deadline

March 6, 2019
Press Release
Following the unnecessary five week government shutdown that affected the IRS, Representatives introduce bill to extend tax filing deadline until May 20th

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) and Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) introduced the Taxpayer Extension Act to give American taxpayers an additional five weeks, until May 20, to file their individual tax returns for 2018.

“Americans deserve a government that works for them. When President Trump shutdown the government for 5 weeks, Americans were left high and dry,” Casten said. “When tax filers – many hit with sticker shock thanks to the Trump tax changes -- called the customer assistance line, their questions went unanswered. When they visited the walk-in taxpayer assistance centers, they found locked doors. This is unacceptable. I am proud to introduce a bill that would give individual tax filers more time to prepare their return.”

Due to the unprecedented five week Trump Shutdown, the IRS sent close to 90% of its workforce home without pay. The Taxpayer Extension Act would provide an extension of the tax return due date for five weeks, from April 15, 2019 to May 20, 2019, for individual income tax returns for 2018, to provide additional time equal to the government shutdown.

Underwood said, “Because of the Republican tax law enacted last year, this tax season is going to be hard for many Illinoisans—particularly those in the 14th district who are carrying a disproportionately high tax burden due to a new limit state and local tax deduction. On top of that, just before many families went to file their taxes, there was a senseless government shutdown that left tax filers’ calls unanswered, doors for assistance centers locked, and 90 percent of the IRS workforce home without pay. This is common sense legislation that will help give taxpayers extra time to ask questions and file their taxes this year.”

More time is also critical to ensure that taxpayers have the online tools they need to file their returns electronically. This extension would help to avoid computer breakdowns like the one the IRS faced in April 2018. At that time, the IRS issued an emergency one-day, penalty-free extension for tax filers after suffering an all-day computer breakdown that prevented taxpayers from filing returns electronically on the day 2017 payments were due. The bill would help to alleviate the system overburden so that tax filers are provided the services they need and deserve.