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The IRS Just Pushed the Federal Tax Filing Deadline to May 17

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If you wanted a little more time to send in your 2020 tax return, you’re in luck: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) just announced that the 2021 deadline to file taxes last year is moved from April 15 to May 17. Phew! However, there are a few caveats to be aware of with this change. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you file everything on time.

Why did the federal tax filing deadline change?

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have been pressuring the IRS to push back the deadline for a while now due to the hardships that many Americans are still facing due to the pandemic. However, the agency said that there’s a bureaucratic reason why they needs more time: they’re still currently working through millions of individual and business tax returns from the 2019 year that were filed in 2020.

One big asterisk is that residents in Texas and Oklahoma actually have until June 15 to file their federal tax returns due to the huge winter storms that walloped the area last month and created massive power outages, water shortages, and more.

If you still need even more time to submit your return past the spring, you can request an extension until October 15 by filling out Form 4868. Keep in mind, however, that doing so just provides additional time to submit the tax forms themselves, it doesn’t change the amount you owe to the government.

Are state filing deadlines also pushed back?

Note that the announcement from the IRS does not affect state or local filing deadlines. Last year, however, when the IRS pushed their federal filing date to July 15, many states also followed suit. We could see a similar situation unfold here.

You can use the Federation of Tax Administrators website to look up your state’s and potentially your city’s tax website to find more specific information. Be sure to keep an eye on it in the coming days, as it may be subject to change. The bottom line, though, is not to assume that those deadlines are pushed back, too.

Are there any federal taxes you need to still pay on April 15?

So far, individuals and businesses that pay quarterly taxes will still need to file them on April 15 as they would for any other quarterly tax filing. If that doesn’t apply to you, just make sure to figure out what your state and municipality are doing tax-wise this year, and you should be good to go!

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