You may have it ingrained into your brain that Tax Day is April 15. However, much like the extension granted in 2020, the government is once again offering you more time. The IRS recently announced they are postponing the April 15 deadline to file your taxes until May 17. That gives Americans two extra months to prepare and file their tax returns.
“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,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement.
The IRS also changed the due date of any money owed to May 17. Anyone who still needs more time to prepare and file their taxes can request an extension to October 15. However, this extension does not apply to taxes owed.
It’s important to note that this extension only applies to federal tax returns. If you live in a state that requires you to file a return or where you own taxes, this extension will not help you. If you are self-employed and make quarterly estimated tax payments, your April 15 payment is still due on that date as well.
While the pandemic has caused financial chaos for millions of Americans, this recent extension was actually caused by something a bit different. The recent passing of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan means that the IRS is plenty busy processing another round of stimulus checks. They simply don’t have the capacity to work on that task at the same time as processing millions of tax returns. Not only that, but the bill actually made changes that will apply to 2020 tax returns. With these last minute changes to law, it only made sense to extend the Tax Day deadline.
“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. “Under titanic stress and strain, American taxpayers and tax preparers must have more time to file tax returns.”
Despite the two month extension, the IRS still suggests you file your taxes as soon as possible. It will get your refund to you faster and also cuts down on the slim chance of someone attempting to steal your return via a fraudulent tax return.