IRS Reportedly Planning to Postpone Tax Filing Deadline
Last year, as COVID-19 infections began to rise in the United States just as tax season was in full swing, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it would be delaying the tax filing deadline. In that case, the agency ultimately moved the filing and payment date to July 15th, 2020. Now, it looks as though the IRS might make a similar move for 2021, potentially pushing the filing date back by a month.
According to CNBC, the IRS plans to postpone its deadline from the typical April 15th to May 15th. However, since the revised date falls on a Saturday, it could further be backed up to the 17th. The IRS reportedly did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the matter.
The expected postponement comes as the IRS has been tasked with delivering the latest round of Economic Impact Payments as authorized by the American Rescue Plan that President Biden signed into law last week. Direct deposits and checks for as much as $1,400 per person have already been sent to approximately 90 million Americans making less than $80,000 a year (with those making under $75,000 a year receiving the full amount). While these payments started reaching some accounts as early as March 12th, the official payment dates started today, with direct deposits being sent out first. Taxpayers can currently check the status of their 2021 Economic Impact Payments by visiting the IRS website and using their “Get My Payments” tool.
Another factor affecting the IRS’s reported decision is that the agency previously delayed the date on which they’d begin accepting returns. Although this usually kicks off in January, tax season officially got underway on February 12th as agency began accepting and processing returns for tax year 2020. At the time, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said of the delayed date, “Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time. Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation’s most important filing seasons ever. This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible.”
Notably, if the IRS does ultimately push the filing deadline for 2021, taxpayers may still be required to pay their state income taxes by the typical April date unless state agencies also make the decision to delay. Meanwhile, as CNBC notes, the IRS has already moved the tax filing deadline to June 15 for individuals and businesses in the state of Texas due to the emergencies connected with February’s winter storms. In any case, we can likely expect official word (one way or the other) from the IRS in the coming days.