With U.S. taxpayers continuing to navigate the unusual circumstances related to coronavirus, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have extended the federal income tax filing deadline for individuals for the 2020 tax year to May 17, 2021.

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. 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, 2021.

Extension Details

Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic extension and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15, 2021. Keep in mind that filing for an extension does give taxpayers until Oct. 15, 2021, to file their 2020 tax return, but it 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.

Please note, this relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021, and these payments are still due on this date. 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.

State Tax Returns

Keep in mind, the new May 17 deadline 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 state tax returns in their respective states accordingly. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. Be sure to check with your state tax agencies for those details.

Winter Storm Disaster Relief for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana

Earlier this year, following the disaster declarations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. These states have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

Although these extensions and relief have been announced, taxpayers are strongly encouraged to file as soon as possible. To obtain assistance with your tax compliance needs, contact Doeren Mayhew’s tax advisors today.