After the federal government postponed the tax filing deadline to May 17 from April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey legislators began the process of aligning New Jersey’s tax due date.
State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36), chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, introduced legislation that would extend the filing and payment deadline for state taxes.
Under the bill, a one-month extension would be granted to taxpayers who are required to file a return or report a gross income tax by April 15. Extra fees, penalties, and interest payments would not accrue during the extension period.
“The state and federal deadlines need to be aligned so that the benefits of the IRS extension are not lost,” said Sarlo. “The American Rescue Plan will deliver much needed support but it will also impact the finances of nearly everyone in ways that will likely require changes to filings and payments.”
Helping New Jersey Residents
The legislation, which Sarlo introduced before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially postponed the tax deadline, was designed to help New Jersey residents in the event the tax deadline was extended.
According to news reports, the IRS was behind in processing some seven million tax returns. The delay was compounded by the issuance of stimulus checks connected to the American Rescue Plan and other coronavirus relief-related legislation that changed the tax code.
Additionally, Sarlo noted seniors could particularly at risk during the pandemic, saying many of them require help from others in preparing their returns and may not have access or familiarity with internet services.
“It’s important to individuals and businesses that New Jersey conforms to any change in the IRS deadline so that affected taxpayers have sufficient time to meet their tax obligations,” he said.
Pascrell, Neal Applaud IRS Decision
North Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. applauded the IRS for extending the tax deadline. Pascrell had repeatedly called for the IRS to provide flexibility on the issue.
“The IRS itself started the filing season late, continues to be behind schedule, and now must implement changes from the American Rescue Plan,” said Pascrell in a press statement with Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). “We are gratified that the IRS has recognized the need and heeded our calls for additional time, and while we are pleased with this 30-day extension.”
The action is one that Pascrell, who serves as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee and as Oversight Subcommittee Chairman, had been pressuring the IRS to make, including sending a letter Feb. 18 to fellow Democratic members regarding an extension.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 3,303,734 as of March 19. Of those who have received the vaccine, 2,201,788 residents have received their first dose with 1,100,974 receiving their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose; 50% have been administered the Moderna vaccine, 48% the Pfizer vaccine and 2% the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Demographically, 57% of those vaccinated are women and 43% men. As for ethnicity, 59% are White, 11% unknown, 11% other, 7% Asian, 7% Hispanic and 5% Black. In regards to age of those having received the vaccine, 42% are 65 years old or olders, 27% are between the ages of 50-64, 23% are between the ages of 40-49, and 8% are between the ages of 18-29.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 380,179 doses, Essex 256,736 doses, Morris 241,466 doses, Hudson 165,445 doses, Passaic 148,405 doses, Sussex 52,102 doses, and Warren 34,711 doses.
As of March 19, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 758,470 with 3,738 total new PCR cases reported. There were 983 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 99,269. The total number of individual cases for the state is 857,739. Gov. Murphy previously noted there is some unknown overlap due to health officials urging those taking a rapid test to get a PCR test.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 27 new deaths, bringing that total to 21,588. The state listed probable deaths at 2,515, bringing the overall total to 24,103. State officials noted 25 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on March 19, Bergen had a total of 453 new confirmed cases and 118 probable cases, Essex 354 new cases and 80 probable cases, Hudson 267 new cases and 78 probable cases, Morris 181 new cases and 71 probable cases, Passaic 321 new cases and 63 probable cases, Sussex 78 new cases and 18 probable cases, and Warren 52 cases and five new probable cases.
State officials have identified a total of 209 coronavirus variant cases in New Jersey, including 20 in Hudson, 14 in Morris County, 12 in Essex County, eight in Passaic, five in Bergen, three in Warren, and three in Sussex.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,460, followed by Bergen at 2,400, Hudson with 1,877, Passaic at 1,568, Morris at 921, Sussex at 213 and Warren County at 199.
In regards to probable deaths reported March 17, Bergen has 288, Essex has 282, Morris has 238, Hudson has 197, Passaic has 189, Sussex has 65 and Warren has 25.
As for the rate of transmission, it remained unchanged at 1.06 from the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested as of March 14, was 12.1%; by region, the rate was 12.8% in the North, 12.0% in the Central region and 10.5% in the South.
Officials reported 1,926 patients were hospitalized; by region, there were 985 in the North, 571 in the Central and 370 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 405 are in intensive care units and 221 on ventilators. A total of 247 patients were discharged, while 207 were admitted.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospilizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 75,476, followed by Middlesex at 73,036, Essex at 72,802, Hudson at 68,563, Monmouth at 57,112, Ocean at 56,509, Passaic at 55,748, Union at 52,361, Camden at 41,506, Morris at 35,703, Burlington at 32,847, Mercer at 27,707, Gloucester at 22,345, Atlantic at 21,171, Somerset at 20,409, Cumberland at 12,767, Sussex at 8,876, Warren at 7,067, Hunterdon at 7,002, Salem at 4,480, and Cape May at 3,943.
In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 10,110, followed by Union at 8,729, Ocean at 7,865, Essex at 7,148, Hudson at 6,655, Monmouth at 6,303, Morris at 6,306, Middlesex at 5,683, Atlantic at 5,555, Passaic at 5,509, Camden at 5,133, Burlington at 4,997, Somerset at 4,595, Cape May at 3,847, Gloucester at 3,306, Cumberland at 2,150, Mercer at 1,808, Sussex at 1,467, Warren at 773, Hunterdon at 677 and Salem 468.
Another 1,040 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 160 outbreaks involving 765 cases have been reported, with 28 new outbreaks accounting for 125 cases in the weekly update on March 17.
For North Jersey, Bergen County has 42 confirmed outbreaks with 172 cases, Passaic County has 11 confirmed outbreaks with 40 cases, Sussex has eight confirmed outbreaks with 21 cases, Warren has eight confirmed outbreaks with 20 cases, Morris County has five confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Hudson County has four confirmed outbreaks with 21 cases, and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 92 cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 244 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 9,540 of the cases, broken down between 4,527 residents and 5,013 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,292 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,440 residents and 21,330 staff, for a total of 53,770 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,964 on March 19. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,838 residents deaths and 143 staff deaths.