The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced last week that due to ongoing financial hardships resulting from the pandemic, the federal 2020 individual tax filing and payment deadline has been extended to May 17, 2021. The previous deadline was April 15.
The IRS is encouraging people to still file as early as possible, even with the new deadline – especially those who will be getting tax refunds. They advise that filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to obtain refunds, along with receiving any further stimulus payments to which they are entitled.
For individual taxpayers, federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, can now be postponed to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, no matter how much is owed. This postponement includes individuals who pay self-employment tax. Any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021, will begin to accrue penalties, interest, and additions to tax. No interest or penalties will be assessed on any taxes paid by May 17.
According to the IRS, individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software, or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.
NOTE: Those who are required to file estimated tax payments are still due to file those on April 15, 2021.
New York Taxpayers
The New York State Tax Department has announced that it will follow the federal extension and will postpone New York State personal income tax returns for the 2020 tax year to May 17, 2021. Returns will not be subject to any penalties or interest if filed and paid by May 17. Interest, penalties, and additions to tax with respect to such extended tax filings and payments will begin to accrue on May 18, 2021.
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