IRS Extends Tax Deadline to May 17, 2021
Tax Day Is Postponed This Year – Extended Filing & Payment Deadline for Individuals
Tax Day is normally on April 15, the due date that the IRS sets for individuals to file and pay their federal income taxes each year. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020, the IRS is automatically extending their deadline by giving people an extra month.
New May 17 Due Date for Federal Tax Returns
The IRS has officially moved Tax Day from April 15 to May 17 for 2020 federal income tax filing. This means that individual tax returns (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR) are now due by May 17, 2021.
This extension also applies to individuals who need to make tax payments for the 2020 tax year. Any federal income tax payments that were originally due on April 15, 2021 can be postponed until May 17, 2021 without any interest or penalties. Note that Estimated Tax payments are not part of this deadline extension and will still be due on April 15.
IRS Commissioner, Chuck Rettig, said, “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. 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.”
You do not need to contact the IRS or file any forms in order to receive this extension of time to file and pay. However, if you need an extension beyond the new May 17 deadline, you will need to submit a tax extension application (Form 4868) to the IRS.
Deadlines for State Tax Returns
This is a federal tax deadline postponement that only applies to individual federal income tax returns, which are handled by the IRS. It does not apply to state/local taxes or your state income tax return.
Generally, most states have the same April 15 tax filing deadline for individual returns that the federal government has every year. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that your state government will offer the same tax relief that the IRS is providing now. For information about your particular state’s tax filing and payment due dates, plus any Coronavirus-related extensions, please check with your state tax agency.
Disaster Relief (Winter Storms) for Louisiana, Oklahoma, & Texas
The states of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma experienced damaging winter storms in February that impacted many residents. Therefore, the IRS has automatically extended the federal tax due dates for this region. These 3 states have until June 15, 2021 to file and pay various individual and business taxes. (Note that the recent May 17 extension for all individual taxpayers does not affect this June disaster relief deadline.)
COVID-Related Tax Relief
There are several new and/or expanded tax breaks designed to provide economic aid and help American households that are struggling amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Recovery Rebate Credit
The federal government has authorized 3 rounds of stimulus checks so far – the first stimulus check was for up to $1,200 per person, the second stimulus check was for up to $600 per person, and the third stimulus check is worth up to $1,400 per person. The Recovery Rebate Credit is a new tax credit that can be claimed by individuals who were eligible for a stimulus check but did not receive the money. You can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your federal income tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR).
Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a tax break designed to help households with children to lower their tax liability. While it is normally worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has temporarily increased the amount of this tax credit to $3,600 for each young child (under age 6) and $3,000 for each older child (age 6 to 17). The recent stimulus bill also temporarily removes the income eligibility rules for the Child Tax Credit and allows families to claim this tax break regardless of their income level.
Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit
If you pay for the cost of having a child (or other dependent family member) taken care of, you may be eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. Normally, this credit is worth up to $3,000 for eligible taxpayers with one child/dependent, or up to $6,000 for people with two or more children/dependents. The American Rescue Plan temporarily increases the maximum amounts for this tax credit to $8,000 for taxpayers with one child/dependent, or $16,000 for taxpayers with two or more children/dependents.