The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have extended the deadline for filing your taxes by one month, from April 15 to May 17. Since May 15 falls on a Saturday, the date has been pushed back to Monday, May 17. Last year, the IRS extended the deadline by three months, to July 15, but this led many taxpayers and taxprofessionals to miss other quarterly deadlines.

Individual taxpayers may also defer payments for the 2020 taxyear, which are due on April 15, 2021, until May 17, 2021, without penalty or interest, regardless of the amount owed. Individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax, are liable for this postponement. On May 17, 2021, penalties, interest, and tax additions will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances. Individual taxpayers who pay their taxes by May 17 will be excluded from interest and penalties.

To apply for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief, individual taxpayers do not need to fill out any forms or call the IRS. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file after the May 17 deadline may do so by submitting Form 4868 to their taxprofessional, using taxsoftware, or using the IRS Free Filing. Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax returns, although it does not offer an extension of time to pay any outstanding taxes. 

“This is still a difficult time for many people, and the IRS wants to do all it can to assist taxpayers in navigating the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the pandemic while still focusing on critical tax administration duties,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Despite the new deadline, we strongly advise taxpayers to file as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Electronic filing with direct deposit is the fastest way to collect refunds, and it can help certain taxpayers receive any leftover stimulus payments more rapidly.” The IRS encourages taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. The majority of tax refunds for e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.

This relief is not applicable to estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2021. These payments must still be made by April 15th. Following the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster declarations earlier this year, the IRS announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. These states have until June 15, 2021, to file and pay various individual and business tax returns. This extension to May 17 has no bearing on the June deadline.