IRS headquarters in Washington. (Photo: Bloomberg) IRS headquarters in Washington. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced Tuesday that individuals would be allowed to defer up to $1 million in tax payments for up to 90 days. He also said the administration was considering sending checks to Americans.

“We encourage those Americans who can file their taxes to continue to file their taxes on April 15, because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds,” he said Tuesday in a news conference.

If you owe a payment to the IRS, you can defer up to $1 million as an individual, Mnuchin said. “The reason we’re doing $1 million is that covers lots of pass-throughs and small businesses and $10 million to corporations — interest free and penalty free for 90 days,” he said.

“All you have to do is file your taxes; you’ll automatically not get charged interest and penalties.”

Mnuchin added that the administration is not taking away the right to file for an extension.

As to the $850 billion coronavirus-related economic stimulus package announced Tuesday morning, Mnuchin said: “We’ll be presenting that to the Republicans in the Senate and to the House” Tuesday. “We’re now working with the Senate to pass this legislation very quickly.”

The bill will include payments to small businesses, as well as loan guarantees to airlines and hotels and a stimulus package to the American worker. “Americans need cash now and the president wants to get cash them cash now.”

Will it be in direct payments, Mnuchin was asked, or via a payroll tax holiday? “Although the president likes the idea of payroll tax holiday … we’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately. Americans needs cash now, in the next two weeks.”

How much? “I’ll be previewing that with Republicans. There are some numbers out there; they may be a little bit bigger than what’s in the press,” Mnuchin said.

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