Good to Know

In mid-March, the IRS announced an extension of time to file individual 2020 income tax returns. The following excerpts were taken directly from IRS press release IR-2021-59, March 17, 2021:

“WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals [including sole proprietors and owners of certain single-member LLCs] for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.”

“Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.”

IRS Tips

No extension request needed

Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic [May 17 due date] federal tax filing and payment relief.”

File early

The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.”

Winter storm victims

“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 various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This extension to May 17 does not affect the June deadline.”

Self-employment taxes

The May 17 due date applies to self-employment and income taxes.


State income tax returns

Check with your state to determine the state income tax return filing due date. Your state may or may not choose to extend the normal April 15 due date for individual income tax returns.

Six-month extension request

The automatic six-month extension of time to file (Form 4868) was NOT extended. Taxpayers filing the “Form 4868” extension have until October 15, 2021, to file their 2020 individual income tax return.

Pay the tax by May 17

Remember that Form 4868 only extends the time to file, not to pay. Taxes due must be paid by May 17, 2021, to avoid penalties and interest.

Estimated payments

The quarterly estimated tax payment due on April 15, 2021, for the 2021 tax year remains due on April 15.  The May 17 extension does NOT apply to 2021 estimated payments.

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The information presented herein is provided purely for educational purposes and to raise awareness of these issues; it is not meant to provide and should not be used to provide tax, legal, compliance or financial advice. There are variations, alternatives, and exceptions to this material that could not be covered within the scope of this blog.