Federal income tax deadlines for individuals are being pushed back one month, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS and the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday, March 17 that the individual federal income tax filing deadline would be moved from the traditional April 15 date to May 17. Individuals will be able to postpone income tax payments due on April 15 to May 17 without penalties or interest.
Individuals choosing to wait until May 17 to file will not be required to inform the IRS. However, individuals needing additional time will be required to file a Form 4868 for a filing extension, which has an Oct. 15 deadline.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said the deadline postponement is designed to alleviate continued difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the deadline extension, he encouraged individuals to file as soon as possible to speed up the refund process. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed 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,” Rettig said in a statement.
While the tax deadline has been extended to May 17, this does not apply to estimated tax payments due on April 15, which are still due on that date. These payments are made on a quarterly basis by individuals whose income is not “subject to income tax withholding,” according to an IRS release. These payments can include self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income.
In 2020, the IRS shifted the tax deadline back to July 15 for 2019 returns. The state of Arkansas followed suit, moving the state income tax filing deadline back to July 15.