IRS plans to delay this year's tax filing deadline to mid-May

The Internal Revenue Service plans to delay this year's...

Posted: Mar 17, 2021 2:08 PM
Updated: Mar 17, 2021 5:45 PM

The Internal Revenue Service plans to delay this year's tax filing deadline by roughly a month, to mid-May.

Democratic Reps. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said that the new deadline would be May 17. The IRS late Wednesday put out a statement confirming the date change.

An official familiar with the plans earlier told CNN the decision was made in order to allow filers more time to navigate tax situations complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

There has been growing bipartisan support to extend the deadline. Lawmakers, led by Pascrell along with Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Republican Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, had urged the move, citing the pandemic.

Bloomberg was first to report the news of the deadline delay.

Last year, the IRS moved the deadline to July 15, giving Americans an additional three months to file their taxes.

'Almost a year later, we are still grappling with the massive economic, logistical and health challenges wrought by this devastating pandemic,' wrote Raskin and Pascrell in a letter sent to the IRS earlier this week.

In a separate statement, Crapo noted that major Covid stimulus bills passed by Congress over the past year have made several changes to the tax system.

'The various coronavirus relief programs created over the last year, including the bill signed into law just last week, have resulted in a large amount of extra paperwork for taxpayers this year and have required tax preparation firms to constantly update their systems,' Crapo said.

Delays are already piling up

As of March 5, the IRS had yet to process 6.7 million of the 2020 returns that had been filed since February 12. It had processed nearly 49 million. The agency has processed about 88% of the returns it received compared with 96% on roughly the same time frame last year.

In addition to processing tax returns, the IRS is also in the process of sending out a third round of about 150 million stimulus payments. As of Wednesday, about 90 million had been sent out.

The $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill signed into law by President Joe Biden also directs the IRS to send out periodic payments for an expanded child tax credit, as well as handle several other changes like waiving income taxes on up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits received in 2020 for households earning less than $150,000, helping laid-off workers who faced surprise tax bills on their jobless benefits.

The IRS has yet to provide guidance to the jobless who have already filed their 2020 tax returns. If the agency can't come up with an automatic way to adjust returns reporting unemployment income, filers may have to send in amended returns, although the IRS is not recommending they do so at this time.

The IRS recently provided instructions and a worksheet for those who have yet to complete their 2020 returns and who will report unemployment compensation. It guides the jobless through filling out the correct amounts on Schedule 1 of Form 1040.

Backers of this provision are among those who urged the IRS to delay the filing deadline.

Still working through last year's backlog

The agency started the year already behind. At the end of December, it still had millions of tax year 2019 returns to be processed. Many IRS workers were sent to work from home during the pandemic, leading to a backlog of paper returns. At one point last year, the pile up of unopened mail had to be kept in trailers.

'They are already behind,' said Nina Olson, who previously served as the IRS' national taxpayer advocate and is now executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights.

'They didn't get through all of the 2020 work before they had to start the 2021 filing season. So this year is going to be a real challenge,' she added.

The IRS further extended the federal tax deadline to June 15 for people in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana who were hit hard by February storms.

Even though the IRS extended its deadline, that doesn't mean individual states will. If they don't, that means that filers in those states may need to file by April 15 anyway, unless they file for an automatic extension.

That's because states often use one's federal adjusted gross income or federal taxable income as the starting point to determine a filer's income subject to state taxes.

At the moment, Maryland is the only state to have extended its filing deadline, to July 15. Other states have stuck with their original filing date, which is April 15 in most instances, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Some states' current dates differ. They are Hawaii, April 20; Delaware and Iowa, April 30; Virginia, May 3; and Louisiana, May 17.

This story has been updated with additional details Wednesday.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 921249

Reported Deaths: 9678
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1797812046
Ramsey744701052
Dakota68081589
Anoka64523585
Washington40846364
Stearns33805283
St. Louis29764413
Scott26116187
Wright26105223
Olmsted22502130
Sherburne19117128
Carver1677569
Clay12183107
Blue Earth1154270
Rice11505139
Crow Wing11275124
Chisago999580
Kandiyohi9861108
Otter Tail9860129
Benton9098126
Beltrami819598
Goodhue816899
Douglas7929101
Itasca777299
Mower736349
McLeod718284
Winona711658
Isanti704785
Steele689234
Morrison675380
Becker630474
Polk606187
Freeborn564847
Carlton549875
Mille Lacs535179
Lyon530961
Nobles526954
Nicollet525661
Pine517943
Cass503253
Todd494143
Brown471760
Le Sueur460534
Meeker435459
Martin388244
Wabasha377410
Waseca375933
Dodge364312
Hubbard356049
Roseau318631
Fillmore307415
Wadena304740
Redwood282145
Houston272417
Renville269851
Faribault259435
Sibley254417
Pennington253430
Kanabec251837
Cottonwood231232
Aitkin223751
Chippewa221242
Pope209410
Watonwan200021
Yellow Medicine189223
Rock178229
Koochiching177825
Swift173423
Stevens169311
Jackson161716
Clearwater158721
Marshall154222
Murray152711
Pipestone150529
Lake133624
Lac qui Parle123525
Wilkin121516
Mahnomen106414
Norman10569
Grant101810
Big Stone9555
Lincoln8885
Kittson73623
Red Lake71610
Traverse6076
Unassigned569124
Lake of the Woods5265
Cook3131

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Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 527597

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Unassigned18890
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
Audubon77617
Adams5869
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