DERRY, N.H. — Ivanka Trump said that Tax Day is nothing to celebrate, but that most Americans will be much happier the next time the filing day rolls around.
Trump has been traveling the country to promote the sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code her father, President Donald Trump, signed last year. She and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were in New Hampshire on Tuesday, the deadline to file federal income taxes.
"We don't often come together to celebrate Tax Day," she told about 150 invited guests at the Derry Opera House. "We'll still never love tax day, but you'll like it a whole lot better next year."
Last-minute filers weren't liking that the IRS payment website was down Tuesday, however.
"We expect it to go up shortly, and we'll make sure taxpayers have extensions once the system comes up to make sure they can use it and it in no way impacts people paying their taxes," Mnuchin told reporters after the event.
While Republicans have billed the tax law as a victory for the middle class, Democrats depict the $1.5 trillion package as a payout to the GOP's largest donors. A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll released in March found that a third of New Hampshire residents believe their families will better off under the tax law, a third said it won't make much of a difference, a quarter said they would be worse off, and the rest weren't sure how they'd be affected.
The discussion was moderated by former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu, who called the state the perfect setting for the event because it lacks a state income tax and general sales tax.
"It has that because we have voters that care about efficiency in government, and make sure that what we spend, we spend efficiently," said Sununu, who read questions written by audience members about the tax law's benefits.
Marga Coulp, of Dover, who once owned five hair salons, and said the overhaul will allow her to hire more workers and expand her services at the one salon she still owns.
"This tax cut is a breath of fresh air for me," she said. "I love being an entrepreneur. I'm just going to keep plugging away at it."
When an Andover man expressed concern over the new limit on the mortgage interest deduction, Trump said that would be offset by the doubling of the standard deduction and increase in the child tax credit. And she emphasized the overhaul's broader benefits, saying businesses already have responded by investing in their workforces, wage increases and family-friendly benefits.
"A rising tide lifts all ships. We're seeing the economy just being fueled by prospect of these tax cuts," she said.
While Tuesday marked the deadline for tax filing, the president was among those filing for an extension. Mnuchin declined to comment specifically on that but said in general there's nothing wrong with doing so.
"Every American taxpayer has the same obligation today. The president is no different," he said. "Any American can take advantage if they want of extending their tax return, but again the vast majority of Americans have filed, and next year the good news is it's going to be so much simpler."