Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year originally due on April 15. The IRS provides more details.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced yesterday 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.
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“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,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “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.”
The IRS states that most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.
Individual Tax Payments for 2020 Also Extended
Federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year for individual taxpayers originally due on April 15, 2021 can also be postponed to May 17, 2021. These payments can be delayed regardless of the amount owed and without penalties and interest, according to the IRS.
Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021.
No Extension for Estimated Tax Payments
This postponement does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. The IRS says that these payments are still due on April 15.
“Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments,” the IRS wrote in a bulletin. “In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.”
No Forms Needed To Qualify for Extension
Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief date of May 17, 2021.
Filing Extensions Beyond May 17, 2021
Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. 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. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.
What About State Tax Returns?
The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax.
Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.