Deadlines For Individual Tax Return Filing Pushed Back To May 17

by Mandy Hicks

By ELPO Law Partner Nathan VinsonNathan Vinson

The IRS announced on Wednesday that it will push back the tax return filing and payment deadlines for individuals to May 17 from April 15 partly due to the new $1.9 trillion relief law and its impacts on 2020 individual income taxes. We emphasize that this extended deadline is only for individuals, and not partnerships, corporations, or other filing entities. It also does not apply to paying estimated first quarter 2021 taxes, if you happen to fall in that category. Of course this is the case for now, but all could change in the next coming days. Regardless, the deadline for individuals will not revert to any date sooner than May 17.

What is relieving, and interesting for a tax professional, is that individuals can also delay paying taxes due on April 15 until May 17. Traditionally, extended deadlines apply to filing returns, but not paying taxes due. Penalties and interest will not start to accrue on unpaid balances until May 17.

Although the filing deadline has been pushed back to May 17, those who request the automatic extension (which is usually six months) to file their return, will still only have until October 15 to file tax returns by the extended due date. Remember, as cautioned above, first quarter estimated taxes are still due by April 15, and the six-month automatic extension (well, five-month this year) for filing your return by October 15 does not apply to any tax due; you must pay any income tax due by May 17, 2021.

Finally, if you live in a state that levies an income tax (e.g., Kentucky), the extended deadline does not apply to filing a Kentucky income tax return; it only applies to individual federal income tax returns. This does not mean that Kentucky will follow suit, but definitely check with your particular state for your tax filing and payment obligations.

Stay tuned for additional updates.