Coronavirus and Your Money

IRS Extends Tax Return Filing Deadline to May 17

Pressure has been building for weeks to give taxpayers more time to file their 2020 federal income tax returns.

The IRS has moved the deadline for filing 2020 federal income tax returns from April 15 to May 17, 2021. This change comes after lawmakers, tax professionals, and others put intense pressure on the IRS to give taxpayers more time to file their 2020 federal income tax returns. It will also give the tax agency, which already has a backlog of unprocessed tax returns, more time to adjust its computer systems and forms to account for tax changes made by the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act – most notably, the $10,200 exemption for unemployment compensation received in 2020.

You can also delay payment of federal income taxes for the 2020 tax year to May 17 without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount you owe. This delay applies to people who pay self-employment taxes, too. Penalties, interest, and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances after May 17.

Estimated Tax Payments

The extended due date doesn't apply to estimated tax payments. These payments are still due on April 15. Income taxes must be paid during the year as you receive it – 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 people automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.

Disaster-Related Extensions

Earlier this year, the IRS announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Storm victims in these states have until June 15, 2021, to file various tax returns and make tax payments. The general due date extension to May 17 doesn't affect the June deadline allowed in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

Extension to October 15

If you need additional time to file after the May 17 deadline, you can request a filing extension until October 15, 2021, by filing Form 4868. This will not extend the time to pay your taxes. You still need to pay any federal income tax due by May 17 to avoid interest and penalties.

State Tax Returns

Some states have already pushed back their own tax return filing deadline…and we expect more states to do the same now that the IRS extended the due date for filing federal returns. Check with the state tax agency where you live for any state tax deadline extensions.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 41 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked
stocks

The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 41 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked

The Berkshire Hathaway portfolio is a diverse set of blue chips, and increasingly, lesser-known growth bets. Here's a look at every stock picked by Wa…
November 16, 2021
Should You Take an Extra Big RMD This Year?
required minimum distributions (RMDs)

Should You Take an Extra Big RMD This Year?

Sometimes only taking the minimum IRA distribution can be a costly mistake. When deciding how much to withdraw this year, you need to consider the big…
November 23, 2021

Recommended

Child Tax Credit Payment Schedule for the Rest of 2021
Tax Breaks

Child Tax Credit Payment Schedule for the Rest of 2021

The IRS has already sent five batches of monthly child tax credit payments. Here's when you can expect the final payment.
November 24, 2021
Final Child Tax Credit Payment Opt-Out Deadline is November 29
Tax Breaks

Final Child Tax Credit Payment Opt-Out Deadline is November 29

The due date for opting out of the December 15 monthly child credit payments is almost here. Missing the deadline could cost you in the long run.
November 24, 2021
It Still Pays to Wait to Claim Social Security
Financial Planning

It Still Pays to Wait to Claim Social Security

Despite dire headlines about the Social Security trust fund, you will be better off waiting to collect benefits.
November 23, 2021
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.
November 22, 2021