By CBS3 Staff

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) –  The New Jersey state tax filing deadline will be extended to allow the state to focus on COVID-19 response efforts. The deadline will be extended from April 15 to July 15.

Officials also announced Wednesday the state fiscal year will also be extended to Sept. 30.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships, financial strain, and disruptions for many New Jerseyans and New Jersey businesses. As part of our response, we have reached agreement that the state income tax filing deadline and the corporation business tax filing deadline will be extended from April 15th to July 15th,” Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said in a joint statement. “This will allow the Administration and the Legislature to focus fully on leading New Jersey out of this crisis, and to allow for a robust, comprehensive, and well-informed budget process later in the year.”

The change in the income tax filing deadline mirrors what the federal government announced last month.

The details of the budget are unclear. Murphy had proposed a $40.9 billion spending plan that called for increased spending for schools, public pensions and New Jersey Transit, but the economic impact the virus will have on state finances looks dire given a sharp rise in unemployment claims.

New Jersey has been among the hardest hit states by the virus. As of Tuesday, there were nearly 19,000 coronavirus cases in the Garden State, including 267 deaths.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)