IRS Extends Individual Income Tax Filing Deadline to May 17

The IRS has announced a filing deadline extension for all 2020 federal personal income tax returns. This decision moves the filing due date from April 15 to May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers, including joint filers and those with self-employment earnings, now have until May 17 to file their 2020 returns and pay any tax due. Here are the highlights of the IRS announcement:

  • This deadline change applies to individual tax filers, not to corporate tax returns. The term “individual taxpayers” refers to everyone whose filing status is Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household or Qualifying Widow(er).
  • You do not need to request this extension. It is automatic for all individual filers.
  • The May 17 deadline applies to both filing 2020 IRS returns and paying any tax due. Payments made by May 17 will not be subject to penalties or interest charges (unless a penalty applies for reasons other than the date of payment).
  • The due date change applies to paying both income tax and self-employment tax.
  • The extended deadline applies only to 2020 tax returns and payments of 2020 tax. The deadline for 2021 first-quarter estimated tax payments currently remains April 15.

In spite of the deadline change, the IRS urges all taxpayers who may be owed a refund to have their returns filed as quickly as possible. Most refunds are issued within 21 days for returns filed electronically, if the taxpayers provide direct deposit banking information.

Keep in mind that as of this publishing date, the May 17 filing deadline applies only for 2020 FEDERAL income taxes. Your state income tax filing due date may be different and your state’s tax department website may have more information.