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IRS plans to push April 15 U.S. tax deadline to May 17


The Internal Revenue Services offices in Washington, D.C.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Taxpayers will have more time to get their taxes in order this year.

The IRS is planning to push back the deadline for filing tax returns by about one month, originally thought to be May 15, from the usual April 15, CNBC confirmed. But because May 15 falls on a Saturday, the final deadline for filers is likely to be the following Monday, May 17. The IRS and Treasury didn’t respond to a request for comment on the extension or the exact filing date.

This will give taxpayers additional time to file their 2020 tax returns and pay any amounts owed to the IRS.

The move from the IRS and Treasury Department comes after calls to extend the tax season increased following the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which meant the agency was tasked with sending another round of stimulus payments while processing tax returns and refunds.

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“This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis,” said House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., in a Wednesday statement citing the extension date as May 17. “Under titanic stress and strain, American taxpayers and tax preparers must have more time to file tax returns.

The latest coronavirus relief bill, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, in the middle of tax season, made a number of changes that added to an already complex filing year for many.

The bill made the first $10,200 of unemployment income, or $20,400 for married couples filing jointly, tax-free for filers with 2020 adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 (for both singles and couples).

It also expanded the child tax credit to $3,000 annually for children ages 6 to 17 and $3,600 per year for those under 6. Parents could start receiving a monthly portion of the credit as soon as this summer.

“May 17 is a lot better than April 15,” said Adam Markowitz, an enrolled agent with Howard L Markowitz PA CPA in Leesburg, Florida. “I still don’t think it solves all the problems, though.”

Accountants are still waiting on guidance from the IRS on items that impact this tax season. On Thursday, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig will give testimony in a hearing on the 2021 tax-filing season convened by the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee.

Beyond the tax changes made by the latest Covid bill, filing a tax return is extra important this year as it’s the only way to recoup stimulus payments that you were eligible for and didn’t receive.

If your circumstances changed, or you’re a non-filer, you need to file a tax return with the IRS and claim the recovery rebate credit to get the economic impact payments you were owed and make sure the agency has your information on file for any future payments.

The IRS in January pushed back the start of tax season to Feb. 12. This gave the agency more time to prepare after December’s Covid relief bill, which included a second round of stimulus checks to Americans, that the agency was charged with delivering.

At the time, the tax collector kept the typical April 15 filing deadline, even though it meant a shorter than usual filing season.

In February, the agency did extend the tax filing deadline to June 15 for individuals and businesses in Texas, which was declared a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after winter storms left many residents without power.

(Correction: The new tax-return filing deadline is May 17. An earlier version of this story included an incorrect date.)

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