Speaking from the White House briefing room Tuesday morning, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin explained new payment deferment options for Americans with scheduled tax payments in the middle of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis.
“We encourage Americans who can file taxes to continue to file taxes on April 15 because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds and we don’t want you to lose out on those tax refunds. We want to make sure they get them. Many people do this electronically which is easy for them and easy for the IRS," he said. "If you owe a payment to the IRS, you can defer up to $1 million as an individual and the reason why we're doing $1 million is because it covers lots of pass throughs and small businesses, and $10 million to corporations, interest free and penalty free for 90 days. All you have to do is file your taxes, you’ll automatically not get charged interest and penalties. Now, of course, any American has the right to extend their taxes, we're not taking away that right."
The total amount Mnuchin has set aside for deferments is $300 billion. He also said the administration is working to cut checks to Americans who need them the most "immediately."
"We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately. And what we have heard from hardworking Americans, many companies have now shut down, whether it is bars or restaurants. Americans need cash now. And the president wants to get cash now. And I mean now in the next two weeks," Mnuchin said.
Tuesday morning the White House announced an $800 billion stimulus plan which includes $58 billion for the airline industry.
"This is worse than 9/11. For the airline industry, they are almost ground to a halt," Mnuchin said. "We want to maintain for critical travel, the right to have domestic travel," he said.
Mnuchin is on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon briefing Republican senators on the administration's $800 million stimulus package.
"We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly. We want to make sure small business owners have access to funds. We want to make sure that hotels, airlines, we have an entire package. We'll be laying out those details later today," Mnuchin said.