2021 Tax Deadline Update

The IRS recently postponed the deadline for filing and paying 2020 income tax returns from April 15 to May 17, 2021.  Some, but not all, states have already shifted their deadlines to match.

Up until just a couple of weeks ago it was looking like 2021 would be back to the regular deadline, unlike the three month delay in 2020 (for 2019 filings).  This was despite urging by the House Ways and Means Committee as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to delay the deadline until mid-summer again this year.  But, instead, the IRS announced only a 1-month reschedule.

The Filing Deadline Delayed

While the official announcement mentioned relief in a “tough time for everybody,” it’s clear that the IRS has been stretched thin with fewer active personnel during the pandemic together with the workload of issuing stimulus checks.  Even with the start of filing being set forward a month, there have been reports of extensive delays in resolving issues in specific cases.  But the IRS says that 9 out of 10 filers due a refund should receive it within 21 days if they file electronically with direct deposit.

A Few Details

The State of California has also moved the income deadline to May 17 2021 for filing and paying your 2020 taxes.

With the filing extension there will be no penalties nor interest on any amount owed for personal, self-employed, and partnership income taxes.  But interest and interest will accrue starting May 17 2021, just as they would with a normal April 15 deadline.

There is no need to request the delay from April to May — it’s “automatic” for everyone.  As in prior years if necessary you can use Form 4868 to request a filing extension, which will be to the usual date of October 15, 2021.

It’s still a good idea to file sooner rather than later, especially if you’ll be receiving a refund.  And as always filing electronically with direct deposit remains the fastest way to receive a refund.

Some Deadlines Remain the Same

Most importantly, IRA contributions must still be made by April 15, 2021.

For those not completely covered by paycheck tax withholding, the relief delay does not change deadlines for 2021 estimated tax payments.  The first payment date remains April 15 followed by June 15 and September 15 2021 then January 15 2022 for individuals (as well as C-corporations and S-corporations on a calendar year basis).

Did You Know?  The average 2020 federal tax refund was $2,500 but that was certainly an exceptional year.

For Official Details

Don’t make assumptions or take anything for granted.  For more information and further updates, contact us or visit the websites below.