tax deadline

Tax Day 2021: When's the Last Day to File Your Taxes?

Like last year, the IRS pushed Tax Day back this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Tax Day (the deadline for filing your federal income tax return) was pushed back from April 15 to July 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the IRS extended the due date again – this time to May 17. In addition to giving you more time to file your 2020 federal income tax return, the Tax Day postponement gave the tax agency more time to adjust its computer systems and forms to account for tax changes made by the American Rescue Plan Act – most notably, the $10,200 exemption for unemployment compensation received in 2020. (The IRS is already sending refunds for this new exemption).

If you're the victim of certain storms earlier this year in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana (February 11 storm or May 17 storm), Oklahoma, TennesseeTexas or West Virginia, you have even more time beyond the Tax Day deadline to file your 2020 federal income tax return (the exact date depends on the state).

If you have a federal tax refund coming, you could get paid in as little as three weeks. In the past, the IRS has issued over 90% of refunds in less than 21 days. To speed up the refund process, e-file your 2020 tax return and select the direct deposit payment method. That's the fastest way. Paper returns and checks slow things down considerably.

If for some reason you couldn't file your federal tax return on time, it's easy to get an automatic extension to October 15, 2021. But you had to request the extension by May 17 to qualify. (Later dates apply for storm victims in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia). Keep in mind, however, that an extension to file doesn't extend the time to pay your tax. If you didn't pay up by the May 17 deadline, you'll owe interest on the unpaid tax. You could also be hit with additional penalties for filing and paying after Tax Day.

And don't forget about your state tax return. Most states synch their income tax return deadline with the federal Tax Day – but there are a handful of states that have different deadlines. Plus, while most states adjusted their filing deadlines to May 17 or later, not all states did. Check with the state tax agency where you live to find out exactly when your state tax return is (or was) due.

Most Popular

13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits
social security

13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits

You may have dreamed of a tax-free retirement, but if you live in these 13 states, your Social Security benefits are subject to a state tax. That's on…
October 4, 2021
10 Best Stocks for Rising Interest Rates
stocks

10 Best Stocks for Rising Interest Rates

The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering near its highest level in months. Here are 10 of the best stocks to buy in a rising interest-rate environment.
September 30, 2021
How Big of a Threat Does Inflation Pose to Your Retirement?
retirement

How Big of a Threat Does Inflation Pose to Your Retirement?

You might be surprised how much inflation can nibble away at your retirement nest egg over time if you aren’t prepared.
October 3, 2021

Recommended

Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide
state tax

Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide

Don't be surprised by an unexpected state tax bill on your unemployment benefits. Know where unemployment compensation is taxable and where it isn't.
October 18, 2021
Child Tax Credit Payments Sent October 15
Tax Breaks

Child Tax Credit Payments Sent October 15

The IRS sent another round of monthly child tax credit payments on October 15. Most families received their payment by direct deposit.
October 16, 2021
Tax Extension Deadline: File Your 2020 Return Today to Avoid Penalties
tax deadline

Tax Extension Deadline: File Your 2020 Return Today to Avoid Penalties

If you chose to extend your tax return's due date, the tax extension deadline is here!
October 15, 2021
The 10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families
state tax

The 10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families

Failing to consider state and local taxes before moving your family to another state could cost you thousands of dollars each year.
October 14, 2021