Last updated Mar 29, 2021

On March 17, a few weeks before the official Tax Day deadline, the IRS announced a new tax day deadline. The news release stated that the April 15 deadline for all 2020 Federal Individual Income Tax Filing will be extended. The new tax day deadline is May 17, 2021.

Who qualifies for the new tax day deadline?

The IRS, along with the Treasury Department, continuously seeks to provide special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses. U.S. residents will now benefit from an automatic extension of 91 days to submit their 2020 filings, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. An automatic extension means that taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify. This relief applies to all individual returns, trusts, and corporations. The aim of this extension is to allow taxpayers more time to prepare and submit their relevant documents.

What does the new tax day deadline apply to?

This extension only applies to federal income returns and tax (including the tax on self-employment income) payments typically due on April 15. This means that this adjustment does not apply to 2021 state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax.

State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. Taxpayers, therefore, will still need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia.

When will late fees apply?

Individuals do not have to file any extension forms and no interest or penalties will accrue during the extended period. Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020. You will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

Taxpayers who are owed a refund are urged to file as quickly as possible. Individual taxpayers who can’t file by the May 17, 2021 deadline can apply for an extension. The IRS reminds taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request an extension to file their return. This request must be filed using Form 4868. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until October 15.

Winter storm disaster relief for Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas

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. This extension to May 17 does not affect the June deadline.

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