The IRS and the Treasury Department have automatically extended the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year, from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.
This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021.
The IRS has informed taxpayers that they do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.
Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until October 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional or tax software, or by using the Free File link on the IRS website. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return, but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due.
Not for Estimated Taxes, Other Items
This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. Also, the federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for details on state filing and payment deadlines.
Winter Storm Relief
The IRS had previously announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. These states have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The extension to May 17 does not affect the June deadline.