Federal Income Tax Filings Extended Nationwide
For all those that value those last precious moments to gather information and search through their files before running to the post office on April 15th to mail their taxes, this year you can rest easy because the IRS and Treasury Department have extended the official filing and payment deadline for individuals to May 17th. Considerations have been made for the many difficulties the past year as brought to families and individuals, and the Internal Revenue Service is offering this extension as a way to help taxpayers alleviate the hardships of the pandemic. While this extension may seem like a reprieve, the Internal Revenue Service still encourages filings to be submitted as soon as possible, especially if you may be owed a refund. When filing electronically with direct deposit, you will most likely receive your refund the fastest. This manner of filing may also speed up any stimulus payments still owed to you. Most refunds submitted through an e-filed return are paid within 21 days.
If a taxpayer owes federal income payments for 2020, those can be postponed to May 17th without penalties or interest, regardless of the amount. This applies to individuals as well as those that pay self-employment tax. Penalties and interest on unpaid balances will begin to accrue on May 17th, rather than April 15th. Nothing needs to be done to qualify for this extension. There are no forms to complete or calls to be made to the IRS to qualify. This extension automatically applies to all individuals if they choose to use it. If an individual wants an extension beyond May 17th, 2021, a request can be submitted by filing Form 4868. This can be done through a tax professional, tax software or by using the Free File link on IRS.gov. This additional extension will provide time until October 15th, 2021, to file the 2020 tax return but not an extension of time to pay taxes due. Interest and penalties will still accrue beginning May 17th, 2021.
Please note that this extension does not apply to estimated tax payments originally due on April 15th, 2021, because tax laws state that taxes are to be paid as income is earned or received throughout the year. Estimated tax payments are typically made quarterly by taxpayers whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding. Examples of such income would be self-employment, interest, dividends, alimony, or rental income. The majority of taxpayers have their taxes withheld by their employer, in which case this does not apply.
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