The views expressed in Economy Matters are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System.

Editor's note: Throughout Economy Matters, "Southeast" refers to the six states that, in whole or in part, make up the Sixth Federal Reserve District: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Financial Tips from the Atlanta Fed: Coronavirus Tax Relief

June 16, 2020

photo illustration of a pile of colored question mark-shaped blocks

COVID-19 has brought significant disruption in almost every facet of life. To address the economic challenges faced by many Americans in advance of the traditional April 15 tax filing deadline, the U.S. Treasury extended the deadline to July 15. Although Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites—which usually provide in-person free tax preparation and filing services—are closed to comply with local shelter-in-place guidelines, there are new online programs that provide filing assistance and explain tax credits or other options for relief. Our resources help answer questions and provide information.

  • The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended tax filing deadlines and federal tax payments to July 15. If you need additional time beyond July 15, you may file for an extension using the forms provided on the IRS website.
  • Free filing assistance for low- to moderate-income workers is now available with the Free File Alliance. The IRS also recommends using direct deposit for your refund as the fastest way to get your money.
  • Tax credits reduce the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. You may be entitled to a refund even if you are not required to file taxes. Visit this site to see if you qualify.
  • Economic impact payments were sent to eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018. Get more information by visiting the site.
  • The People First Initiative is an IRS program that works with taxpayers who have installment agreements and might be subject to collection actions. It might limit certain enforcement actions.