IRS Extends Filing Season for Individual Taxpayers to May 17

Update: Our original article detailing the IRS postponement to May 17 immediately follows this opening paragraph. Shortly after the IRS announced the postponement, many states moved quickly to adjust their deadlines to match the federal deadline or to move their deadlines beyond the new federal deadline. The AICPA compiled a list of states that have moved or are considering moving their deadline on their website. The AICPA list is updated as new information becomes available, so it may be helpful to bookmark this page.

On March 17, the IRS announced that the tax filing and payment due date for individual taxpayers is postponed until May 17. Lawmakers and lobbying groups previously sought a longer postponement, but the additional one month provides welcome relief to many.

The income tax filing and payment relief applies automatically, so taxpayers do not need to file any forms or request an extension. As a result, individual taxpayers will have until May 17, 2021, to file income tax returns and pay any income taxes that were originally due April 15. Individuals can still request an extension of time to file tax returns on or before May 17, in which case the extension of time to file (but not pay) will run through Oct. 15, 2021.

In announcing this postponement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “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. 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, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”

Importantly, the relief applies to individuals only. Businesses, employment tax filers, trusts, and not-for-profits remain subject to their original due dates. Additionally, this relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. Individuals must still make these payments on April 15.

The IRS announcement indicates that more formal guidance is forthcoming. The subsequent IRS guidance hopefully will clarify a number of additional details, including the ability to make IRA contributions for 2020 by May 17, 2021, and whether the postponed due date also covers an individual’s gift tax filing and associated excise tax payment obligations. Also, guidance is needed to determine whether other time sensitive actions will be postponed, such as the identification and replacement periods for like-kind exchanges of real estate.

The IRS announcement only covers the federal tax filing due date.

Regardless of the postponement, your CBIZ team remains dedicated to providing you with the superior level of service you have come to expect from us, including keeping you informed of late-breaking developments. Please contact us for additional information regarding the postponed due date.

Published on March 18, 2021