In a move similar to the one made last year, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing deadline for individuals will be automatically extended to May 17, 2021, for the 2020 tax year. The April 15 deadline was extended to offer relief to taxpayers based on the economic impact of COVID-19. The IRS will issue formal guidance in the coming days.
Individual taxpayers are also allowed to postpone federal income tax payments, regardless of the amount owed, for the 2020 tax year (due on April 15, 2021) to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest. Individual taxpayers are not required to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for the extension.
This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. Additionally, the IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Generally, refunds for tax returns that have been e-filed are issued within 21 days.
According to 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.”
Taxpayers need to be aware that the filing postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax payments otherwise due April 15, 2021. It does not apply to state tax payments, deposits, or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers should check with their state tax agencies for detail on any filing deadline extensions.