By Laura Saunders
The Internal Revenue Service said March 17 that it is delaying
the tax filing and payment deadline for individuals to May 17 from
April 15 for 2020 tax returns.
The move responded to concerns raised by lawmakers and tax
professionals that Americans need more time to file and pay taxes
this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and recent
legislation responding to it.
Last year, the pandemic prompted the agency to postpone the
April 15 deadline to July 15 for a range of tax filings, but this
year's relief is narrower.
Here are answers to questions taxpayers are asking.
Do I have an extra month to pay my taxes?
Yes. The May 17 deadline is for both payments and filing
Who does the delay apply to?
The delay applies to individuals filing Forms 1040 and 1040-SR.
It doesn't affect deadlines for corporate, partnership or nonprofit
What about first-quarter estimated tax payments?
The postponement doesn't apply to first-quarter estimated tax
payments for 2021. The deadline for them remains April 15. On March
29, the IRS reaffirmed the April 15 deadline.
Do I need to take any action for the delay to apply to me?
No. The extension is automatic for individual taxpayers. The
agency says there is no need to call the IRS or file a form to
qualify for this extension.
Does the May 17 deadline apply to contributions for 2020
traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and HSAs?
Yes, it does. This issue had been unclear, but on March 29 the
IRS issued Notice 2021-21, which postpones to May 17 the April 15
deadline for 2020 contributions to these accounts. The delay also
applies to contributions to Archer Medical Savings Accounts and
Coverdell education savings accounts.
Can I still get an extension to file my 2020 tax return?
Yes. The deadline to file the 2020 tax return remains Oct. 15
for taxpayers who file Form 4868 to request an automatic extension.
The deadline to submit this form is now May 17, not April 15.
Taxpayers who file it will have until Oct. 15 to finish their
paperwork, but they must pay what they owe by May 17. On that day
interest and penalties will start to apply.
I live in Louisiana, Texas or Oklahoma. Am I subject to the new
May 17 deadline?
No. Because of emergency declarations related to the storms in
February, a range of tax deadlines for individuals and businesses
in these states have been delayed until June 15.
What about state tax deadlines?
"We expect most states to conform their deadlines with the new
federal deadlines," says Mary Peterson, executive director of the
Federation of Tax Administrators, a state-tax group.
She adds that extension will be burdensome for states that need
to communicate any changes to taxpayers and extend contracts to
recode their processing systems. States also are still trying to
evaluate and react to changes in the American Rescue Plan signed
into law on March 11.
I already filed my 2020 return and scheduled an automatic
withdrawal of my tax payment for April 15. Will the IRS
automatically delay this payment until May 17?
No, but taxpayers can take action to change the payment
Many filers authorize an electronic funds withdrawal as part of
filing their tax returns. The IRS says these taxpayers can cancel
their payment by contacting the U.S. Treasury Financial Agent at
1-888-353-4537. Payment cancellation requests need to be made by
11:59 p.m. ET two business days before the scheduled payment date.
Taxpayers must then reschedule the automatic payment or mail a
check to the IRS.
For those using IRS Direct Pay or the Electronic Federal Tax
Payment System (EFTPS), both have directions for canceling
payments, which needs to be done two days before the payment date.
For IRS Direct Pay, use the Look Up a Payment Feature. For EFTPS,
log in and click on Cancel a Tax Payment.
Taxpayers who scheduled an automatic payment by credit or debit
card should contact the card company to change the date.
I received unemployment compensation last year, and the law was
recently changed to exempt up to $10,200 of it from federal tax.
What do I do?
If you already have filed your 2020 tax return, the IRS strongly
urges you not to file an amended return. The agency hasn't
announced what steps to take but plans to do so soon.
For those who haven't yet filed their 2020 returns, the IRS
released guidance on March 16 that includes a worksheet and
instructions to claim the exemption.
--Richard Rubin contributed to this article.
Write to Laura Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 14, 2021 11:25 ET (15:25 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.