IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline by a Month

March 18, 2021 Updated: March 18, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week announced taxpayers have an additional month to file their taxes.

The previous deadline was April 15. The new deadline is May 17.

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and 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.

“Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”

Taxpayers don’t need to file any forms or call the IRS for the automatic extension, but penalties, interest, and additions to their tax will start accruing after the new deadline.

The extension only applies to federal filings, but several states have already announced extensions to align with the new federal date.

Top Democrats had pushed the IRS to extend the deadline, which was done last year, citing the backlog in filings in the service’s system.

“We stand in the midst of the most important tax filing season in recent memory, and taxpayers cannot get the help they need from the IRS. Returns received by the IRS have fallen significantly behind last year’s numbers. On top of all that, once it is signed into law, the American Rescue Plan will change the tax laws applicable to unemployment benefits received in 2020 and reported on returns filed during this filing season.

“Taxpayers need more time to file accurate returns and get their questions answered by the IRS,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) said in a recent joint statement.

Rettig told legislators last month that there were no plans to extend the deadline.

Doing so, he said at the time, “creates a lot of confusion for taxpayers,” he said.

Individuals always have the option to file for personal extensions. In those cases, they have until Oct. 15 to file.

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