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On Wednesday, March 17, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in conjunction with the U.S. Treasury Department, announced an extension of the federal income tax filing due date for individuals. Individual returns for the 2020 tax year are now due on May 17, 2021, rather than the standard date of April 15, 2021.
The IRS stated their intention to issue formal guidance on the extension soon. As of now, here are the details that we are aware of per the IRS news release:
- In addition to a filing extension, any federal income tax payments owed for 2020 are also automatically extended to the new due date, with no penalties or interest.
- The filing and tax payment extensions are applicable for self-employed individual filers.
- Taxpayers who do not pay any amounts owed by May 17 will begin to accrue penalties and interest at that point.
- There is no need to file for an extension or contact the IRS—this extension is automatic.
- Individuals who need more time than the May 17 due date should file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to apply for an extension through October 15, 2021. This would result in an extension for filing; any payment due would still need to be paid by May 17 to avoid penalties and interest.
- The extension does not apply to the April 15 deadline for first quarter estimated tax payments.
This extension only applies to federal income tax filings. While it is possible that states will follow suit with a due date extension, most states have not made formal announcements on an extended deadline.