WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service has moved key tax and payment deadlines for individuals from April 15 to May 17 to give taxpayers and preparers some breathing space during an unusually complicated tax season.
The move comes after lawmakers and auditors asked the government to give more time to finalize 2020 tax returns and adjust to the tax changes implemented during the pandemic.
The tax filing season started later than usual and was challenging for taxpayers as they grappled with the impact of last year’s economic disruption and late changes to the tax law. The typical personal support, which can be particularly useful for low-income filers, was also more complicated this year.
Auto-renew applies to 2020 single returns and payments due on April 15th. They are extended to May 17th with no penalties or interest. This doesn’t apply to estimated tax payments for 2021 due April 15, the IRS said late Wednesday. Many questions remain unanswered, including whether states will follow suit and extend their income tax deadlines.
The IRS, aiming for a return to something similar to their normal schedule after 2020, had refused to change the deadline. The start of the filing season was postponed from the typical end of January to February 12, leaving time to implement the tax law changes drafted by Congress in December. Another delay was requested this month as Congress changed the 2020 tax law again.