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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Today — October 15 — marks a tax-filing deadline for many people every year who have been granted extensions, but this year's rules and dynamics are very different.

Why it matters: The IRS was closed for months as a result of COVID-19, which meant that a lot of refunds got delayed, a lot of tax payments didn't get processed, and a lot of taxpayers (and accountants) got put on perma-hold or disconnected when they called to ask questions.

Where it stands: In March, the "Service" (as tax insiders call it) extended the April 15 filing deadline to July 15.

  • From there, people were allowed to apply for an extension to Oct. 15, which some taxpayers routinely do anyway. (Tax filers who live abroad can get their own extension until Dec. 15.)
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in June that he was considering a second extension in light of the ongoing pandemic, but ultimately opted against it.
  • Per Bloomberg Tax: "A second delay would be akin to the IRS giving an interest-free loan to individuals and companies that owe the government money. Mnuchin said the first three-month delay injected about $300 billion of liquidity into the economy."

What they're saying: "It's the tax season that never ended," Ryan L. Losi, executive vice president of the boutique, high-end accounting firm PIASCIK, tells Axios.

  • "If you filed anything in the 4th quarter of 2019 or the 1st quarter of 2020, that basically sat on people’s desks [at the IRS] when everything shut down during COVID."
  • After the CARES Act was signed on March 27, "you had this 1,000-page bill in the middle of tax season" to study, Losi said. "For about 45 days, it was all about PPP and learning the statute."

Go deeper

Emergency Fed lending programs to expire under Mnuchin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Caroline Brehman-Pool via Getty

The Treasury Department will not extend several Federal Reserve lending programs set to expire by year's end that were put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: There is concern that pulling the plug on these loan programs will negatively impact the still-fragile economy. Eliminating the programs could hobble the Fed and make it harder to revive similar assistance under a new Congress.

CPAC Republicans choose conservatism over constituents

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CPAC proved such a draw, conservative Republicans chose the conference over their constituents.

Why it matters: More than a dozen House Republicans voted by proxy on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in Washington so they could speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. And Sen. Ted Cruz skipped an Air Force One flight as President Biden flew to Cruz's hometown of Houston to survey storm damage.

Border Democrat warns Biden about immigrant fallout

Henry Cuellar (right). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

A Democratic lawmaker representing a border district warned the Biden administration against easing up too much on unauthorized immigrants, citing their impact on his constituents, local hospitals and their potential to spread the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios he supports President Biden. But the moderate said he sees the downsides of efforts to placate pro-immigrant groups, an effort that threatens to blow up on the administration.

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