WASHINGTON, March 17, 2021—Tax Day for individuals filing federal income taxes for the 2020 tax year has been extended from April 15 to May 17.
The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days, according to a news release.
“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, he said, and can help some taxpayers receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to quicker.
This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax.
Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17.
Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.
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 Oct. 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 to avoid interest and penalties.
The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.
This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due April 15. These payments are still due April 15.
Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments.
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.