Illinois moves Tax Day to July 15 in response to coronavirus spread
The change puts Illinois in line with the new federal deadline announced in response to the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced at his daily press conference on March 25 that July 15 will be the new deadline for Illinoisans to file state income taxes. The change comes five days after the same move was made by the federal government, which also pushed the deadline to July 15.
Pritzker said refunds are still being processed and distributed for those who have already filed taxes. Additionally, the state is allowing restaurants and bars extra time to pay their sales taxes. Other things such as evictions and utility shutoffs for late payments have also been suspended by executive order.
Pritzker said delaying the filing deadline will help soften the immediate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor instituted a stay-at-home order that started March 21 that will last at least through April 7. All non-essential employees are to stay home and non-essential travel should be limited. On March 16, all restaurants and bars were closedto dine-in customers, but allowed to remain open for drive-through and take-out service.
The closure of businesses is leading to severe economic losses and a rise in unemployment. Between March 16 and 18, unemployment claims in Illinois rose by 64,000. After new social distancing measures were introduced, the number was expected to rise higher. Nationally, some experts believe unemployment may hit an unprecedented 30% in the second quarter.
While the numbers paint a grim economic future, it is important to note many of those seeking unemployment will be able to return to their jobs when social distancing orders are lifted. The current unemployment count does include furloughed workers.
In addition to putting off the day Illinoisans must pay taxes, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is suspending collection of traffic fees until April 30 to ease the economic burden on residents. Drivers will not immediately have to pay for late parking tickets, towing fees or red-light camera tickets. The city will also suspend its “booting” system.
Illinois currently has 1,865 cases of coronavirus with 19 deaths. The number of cases rose by 330 on March 25, the same day Pritzker announced the delayed tax deadline. Thirty-five counties have reported cases across all ages.
The economic impact of the virus is expected to be staggering in Illinois. The Illinois Policy Institute put together a reportdetailing what the state must do now to prepare for the fallout from the halt in economic activity, including a commercial property tax holiday and pension reform to preserve needed revenues.