The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on March 17th that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

This extension only applies to individual federal income tax returns. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. As of right now 34 states have also extended the deadline. The AICPA is tracking state due date changes and updating this link with the most current information: State Tax Due Dates Updated for COVID-19 Relief

As stated by IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig “This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities.”  He continued on that “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

For those individuals who have already filed their return, but who now qualify for the new Unemployment Relief Act, which exempts the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits, the IRS suggests NOT filing an amended return yet and to wait for further guidance.

This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15.

Other Deadlines the IRS has Extended to May 17th

Time to make contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts extended to May 17

In extending the deadline to file Form 1040 series returns to May 17, the IRS is automatically postponing to the same date the time for individuals to make 2020 contributions to their individual retirement arrangements (IRAs and Roth IRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs), and Coverdell education savings accounts (Coverdell ESAs). This postponement also automatically postpones to May 17, 2021, the time for reporting and payment of the 10% additional tax on amounts includible in gross income from 2020 distributions from IRAs or workplace-based retirement plans. Notice 2021-21 also postpones the due date for Form 5498 series returns related to these accounts to June 30, 2021.

2017 unclaimed refunds – deadline extended to May 17

For tax year 2017 Federal income tax returns, the normal April 15 deadline to claim a refund has also been extended to May 17, 2021. The law provides a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund. If taxpayers do not file a return within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by the May 17, 2021, date.

Additionally, foreign trusts and estates with federal income tax filing or payment obligations, who file Form 1040-NR, now have until May 17, 2021.

LinkedIn