IRS announces extension of filing deadline to May 17

The IRS on Wednesday announced that it is extending the deadline for individuals to file their 2020 tax returns from April 15 to May 17 after lawmakers and tax preparers sought a postponement of the due date.

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a news release.

Rettig added that taxpayers should still consider filing as soon as they can, particularly if they expect to receive refunds.

“Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to,” he said.

The announcement from the IRS comes after two top House Democrats said earlier Wednesday that the agency was going to issue the extension. It also comes one day before Rettig is scheduled to testify at a House hearing.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had been urging the IRS to extend the deadline, arguing that pandemic-related challenges that prompted the agency to issue an extension last year still remain. Lawmakers also said that many people have questions about how recently enacted coronavirus relief legislation impacts their taxes.

Along with extending the deadline to file, the IRS is also extending the deadline for people to pay their 2020 taxes, pushing that to May 17 as well. People who need additional time to file their returns beyond May 17 can request an extension to Oct. 15, but they will still have to make payments by May 17.

The IRS said it is not extending the deadline for estimated tax payments for 2021 that are due on April 15. The agency also said that its extension applies only to federal taxes, not to state taxes.

The IRS previously extended the tax filing and payment deadlines to June 15 for residents of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana because of winter storms. Those deadlines are still in effect.

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