As the coronavirus pandemic continues, life remains a little hectic. Parents especially are being forced to juggle a lot, leaving them little time to relax at the end of the day much less fill in complicated tax forms. In an effort to make things just a tiny bit easier, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has delayed the 2020 tax year filing deadline, giving taxpayers an extra four weeks.
The IRS announced Wednesday that it hand bumped the federal income tax filing deadline for the 2020 tax year from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, after more than 100 Congressional representatives signed a letter urging the agency to postpone the filing deadline. Additionally, taxpayers — even those who’ve already filed — will also have until May 17, 2021, to make their federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year.
“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," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement released by the agency.
Although the IRS has extended the tax filing deadline, the agency still cautioned taxpayers to try and get their 2020 taxes filed as soon as possible, noting that the sooner a taxpayer filed, the sooner a refund could be issued if owed. According to the IRS, most tax refunds associated with returns that have been filed electronically (a process known as e-file) are issues within 21 days.
"Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds,” Rettig said. “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."
Taxpayers who find the May extension still doesn’t provide them with enough time can file an extension request giving them until Oc. 15, 2021, using Form 4868. And while the extension granted via Form 4868 will give taxpayers another five months to file, it does not allow for an extension on tax payments.
“Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due,” the IRS has noted. “Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.”
It’s worth noting the IRS’ recently announced extension also does not apply to any quarterly-paid estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2021. The IRS has also stressed that its extension applies only to federal income returns and tax and does not include an extension on state tax payments or returns. Taxpayers can visit the official website of their own state tax agency to check their state filing and payment deadlines.