Tax Day Pushed Back to May 17

Much like last year, the 2021 filing season has been characterized by challenges. The season started later than usual, tax professionals and taxpayers continue to manage pandemic safety precautions, and guidance is pending for the retroactive tax law changes included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that President Biden signed into law last week. So, it comes as no surprise that the Internal Revenue Service today announced the federal filing and payment deadline is delayed by a month.    

Americans now have until May 17, 2021 to file their tax year 2020 federal income tax return and pay any tax owed. The change to the payment deadline is notable, since “individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.” While taxpayers can still request an October 15 filing extension, the IRS notes that it won’t affect the new payment deadline.

Estimated tax payment deadlines, winter storm disaster relief deadlines, and state filing deadlines are not affected

The new deadline may grant additional time to file and pay federal income tax for tax year 2020, but the IRS says it does not affect the following:

  • April 15, 2021 quarterly estimated tax payment deadline
  • June 15, 2021 federal filing and payment deadline granted to victims of winter storms in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas
  • State and D.C. income tax deadlines

Since “most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer,” the quarterly estimated tax payment deadline predominantly affects these types of income:

  • Self-employment income
  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Alimony
  • Rental income

Last year when the federal filing deadline was delayed, many—but not all—states that collect income tax changed their filing deadlines to match the federal date. So, “the IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.” 

Be sure to regularly visit the News section of the IRS website for further guidance and updates.

Source: IR-2021-59

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