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Treasury and IRS extend 2020 federal tax filing and payment deadline to May 17

2020 federal tax filing

The federal tax filing deadline has been extended to May 17, 2021

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the 2020 federal tax filing deadline runs from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021(IR-2021-59SP, March 17, 2021). The IRS will provide guidelines in the coming days. This change comes after lawmakers, tax professionals, and others intensely pressure the IRS to give taxpayers more time to file their 2020 federal tax returns. The Tax Agency need time to adjust its computer systems and forms to account for tax changes made by the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act. One of those being the $10,200 exemption for unemployment compensation received in 2020

“This is still a difficult time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything it can to help taxpayers navigate unusual pandemic-related circumstances, while working with important tax administration responsibilities,” said Chuck Rettig, IRS Commissioner. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing the return as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the fastest way to get refunds and can help some taxpayers receive any remaining stimulus payment for them faster.”

The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds filed with e-file are issued within 21 days.

In addition, if you did not receive a stimulus payment or only received a partial stimulus payment, claiming the Recovery Refund Credit by filing a tax return is the only way to get your additional money. For families who have not received their first and second stimulus payments this could be up to an additional $1,800 per taxpayer.

Here’s what you need to know about the tax deadline extension announcement:

  • Do I need to submit an extension to present an extension on April 15?  No, you don’t need to take any action. The May 17 extension automatically applies to all taxpayers.
  • Will the extension of the tax period delay my tax refund? No, the IRS expects to continue processing refunds normally, however, it encourages all taxpayers to file now.
  • Will the deadline for state taxes also be expanded? That depends on your condition. Many may adjust to the new May 17 tax deadline. It will take some time for states to make that decision. For the deadline in your state, see below.
  • Does this extension apply to 2021 estimated quarterly tax payments? No, this extension does not apply to estimated income tax payment terms for the first and second quarters of 2021. These remain on 15 April 2021 and 15 June 2021. 

Does the extended term mean I have more time to pay? Will the extended term allow me to pay my balance due by May 17?

The extension of the federal tax filing period also applies to 2020 tax payments.

Taxpayers who owe money can defer federal tax payments for fiscal year 2020. No interest and no penalty until May 17. This deferment applies to all individual taxpayers. These taxpayers may defer federal tax payments for 2020 regardless of the amount owed up to the new deadline. This applies only to individual tax returns in 1040, not to business tax returns.

Deferring federal tax payments means that if you owe money on your federal taxes, you’ll get more time to pay what you owe.

  • How do I know if I qualify for the extended payment deadline? And do I need to submit an extension to get it? Any individual taxpayer with a Federal Tax Payment related to their 2020 taxes can defer their tax payment, free of penalties and interest.
  • What do I do if I have already filed my taxes and scheduled my payment by April 15? We’re waiting for IRS guidance on what you need to do to change your scheduled payment date. Stay tuned.
  • What if I need more time beyond the May 17 deadline to pay? If you need additional time, beyond May 17, you will need to submit an extension. An extension will give you until October 15, 2021 to file your taxes, but you will still have to pay any taxes due by May 17. Payments after May 17 will be subject to penalties and interest. The IRS also has installment plans available, you can learn more here.

Continue reviewing here for the most up-to-date tax deadline information and related changes while we await final IRS guidance.

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