IRS pushes tax deadline back to May 17

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2020, file photo, a W-4 form is viewed in New York. The IRS will delay the traditional April 15 tax filing due date until May 17, 2021, to cope with added duties and provide Americans more flexibility. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2020, file photo, a W-4 form is viewed in New York. The IRS will delay the traditional April 15 tax filing due date until May 17, 2021, to cope with added duties and provide Americans more flexibility. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

“This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis.”

Posted: Mar 18, 2021 7:39 AM

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) - Americans will be getting extra time to prepare their taxes. The Internal Revenue Service says it's delaying the traditional tax filing deadline from April 15 until May 17.

The IRS announced the decision Wednesday and said it would provide further guidance in the coming days. The move provides more breathing room for taxpayers and the IRS alike to cope with changes brought on by the pandemic.

“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,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

The decision postpones when individual taxpayers must file their return and when their payment is due. The IRS said taxpayers who owe money would not face any further penalties or interest if they pay by May 17. The new deadline also applies to individuals who pay self-employment tax.

Taxpayers do not need to take any action to take advantage of the new deadline. Those who need more time beyond May 17 can request an extension until October 15.

The new deadline does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15; those remain due by that day.

The decision to extend the deadline comes after an intense year for the chronically underfunded IRS. The pandemic hit in the middle of last year's tax filing season, setting the agency back in terms of processing. The IRS has also been a key player in doling out government relief payments, and is currently helping to send out the third round of payments in the middle of the current tax filing season.

Additionally, the extension gives the IRS time to issue guidance on recent tax law changes. The American Rescue Plan excludes the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits from federal taxes for those making less than $150,000.

“Never before has the law changed so substantially in the middle of tax filing season," Patrick Thomas, director of Notre Dame Law School’s Tax Clinic, said in a statement.

The IRS must issue guidance for taxpayers and tax preparers alike as millions of returns already filed likely do not account for this change.

A number of lawmakers and professionals from the tax community have urged the tax filing season be extended to accommodate for these pressures. The House Ways and Means Committee applauded the move.

“This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis,” said Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass. and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., chairman of the panel’s oversight subcommittee.

Rettig is expected to speak to the committee tomorrow about how the IRS is managing this filing season and the need for this extension.

The IRS continues to urge people to file as soon as possible, particularly those who are owed refunds. In some cases filing will help taxpayers more quickly get any remaining relief payments they are entitled to.

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Ramsey62614972
Dakota56158520
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Crow Wing9254105
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Chisago816662
Otter Tail7807104
Benton7363108
Beltrami633276
Mower631740
Douglas616189
Goodhue603683
Winona603653
Itasca596978
McLeod580868
Steele572425
Isanti558172
Morrison541565
Becker518762
Polk502577
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
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Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
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Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
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Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
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Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
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Clayton210058
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Iowa204229
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Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
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Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
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Sac156323
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