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RPEC Weekly ACTION Newsletter – 3-20-2020

RPEC Weekly ACTION Newsletter – 3-20-2020

In This Edition

  • IRS Delays Tax-Filing Deadline
  • Inslee Orders Halt to Elective Surgeries and Dental Services
  • Stores Offer Senior Shopping Hours
  • WA State COVID-19 Website
  • Stay safe and well

IRS Delays Tax-Filing Deadline

From Bloomberg: IRS Pushes Tax Date to July 15, Same as Payment Deadline

Tax forms and payments won’t be due to the Internal Revenue Service until July 15 this year, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet, as the government looks for ways to respond to the coronavirus.

“We are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15,” Mnuchin said. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

The change gives individuals and corporations an additional three months to file and pay before they would owe interest and penalties for late filing. Many states have also delayed their filing and payment deadlines.

Mnuchin is encouraging taxpayers who are due a refund to go ahead and file despite the delay, so they can get their checks more quickly. The IRS recommends filing electronically and opting for direct deposit to get the money within about three weeks.

Inslee Orders Halt to Elective Surgeries and Dental Services

Inslee announced new restrictions today on non-urgent medical and dental procedures so the state can make sure Washington health care workers have enough protective equipment to wear as they work the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s order applies to any non-urgent procedure that requires medical professionals to wear personal protective equipment.

This impacts all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices in Washington. The governor’s proclamation makes clear that this restriction does not apply to treatment for patients with emergency and urgent needs.

There are exceptions. For example, doctors can perform an elective surgery if delaying the surgery would cause harm to the patient within the next three months.

“We know the health care personal protective equipment supply chain in Washington has been severely disrupted by the significant increased use of such equipment worldwide,” Inslee said. “We will do all we can to protect the women and men who protect us.”

Banned procedures include (but are not limited to):

  • most joint replacements
  • most cataract and lens surgeries
  • non-urgent cardiac procedures
  • cosmetic procedures
  • some endoscopy
  • some interventional radiology services

This order does not apply to patients with heart attacks, strokes or motor vehicle accidents. Hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers may perform surgery as long as a delay or cancellation would worsen the patient’s condition. For example, the prohibition would not apply to a patient who needs a serious cancerous tumor removed, or a patient who needs their dentist to relieve pain or manage an infection.

Stores Offer Senior Shopping Hours

Safeway and Albertsons are asking for customers to honor the hours of 7am – 9am on Tuesdays & Thursdays as reserved Senior Shopping hours.

Whole Foods announced it would provide service to senior customers who are 60 and older, access to the store one hour before it opened to the general public.

Walmart reduced it operating hours from 7am to 8:30pm effective March 19. The store also announced that it will be offering special shopping hours for seniors amid the pandemic. From March 24 through April 28, shoppers 60 and older will be able to enter the store one hour before it opens to all customers. Walmart’s pharmacies and vision centers will also be open to older customers, who are considered among the most vulnerable to the virus, during that time.

We hope that other retail stores follow suit. We suggest you call your local retailer and inquire as to whether or not they offer special senior shopping hours. We encourage our members to take advantage of these special shopping hours to reduce their potential exposure to COVID-19.

WA State COVID-19 Website

Washington State launched at comprehensive informational website pertaining to COVID-19 and specific information related Washington State. This is a great source of information regarding the disease, news and closures around the state. You can find this at: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/

Stay safe and well! 

And finally, during this crisis, you may find yourself feeling anxious, angry, sad, or overwhelmed. In a message from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) try and find ways to reduce your stress to help yourself and the people you care about.

  • Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy.
  • Talk with family and friends by phone, text, or email.
  • If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, get support 24/7 by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

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