The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is extending the federal income tax filing deadline to July 15 as part of the efforts to minimise the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Taking to Twitter, Mnuchin said, at President Donald Trump’s direction, “we are moving tax day from April 15 to July 15”.

“All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Russia, China and Iran for spreading “disinformation” on COVID-19 and carrying out coordinated efforts to “disparage” American attempts towards containing the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

According to official data, the IRS had received 76,191,000 individual income tax returns as of March 13, and had issued 59,235,000 refunds, accounting for 77.7 per cent of the total number filed. The average refund was $2,973.

On Wednesday, the Treasury Department and IRS issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, until July 15, without penalties or interest, and corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments.

On Thursday, the Senate introduced the bill, outlining provisions to send direct cash payments for working Americans, provide federally guaranteed loans for small businesses and tax cuts for corporations, as well as offering financial support for airlines and other hard-hit industries.

A total of 230 people had died in the US due to the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic by Friday evening.

The number of confirmed cases has jumped to over 18,000, an increase of over 10,000 in less than 50 hours. Coronavirus cases have been reported in all the 50 States in the US and District of Columbia as well as Puerto Rico.

Globally, the death count from the virus has risen to 11,397 with more than 275,427 cases reported in over 160 countries and territories.

The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 210,300 people in at least 145 countries and over 9,000 people have died, more than half of them outside China, where the epidemic first began in the city of Wuhan.