The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced on March 17 that the due date for filing federal income tax for individuals for fiscal year 2020 will automatically be extended from April 15, 2021 to May 17. 2021. The IRS will provide formal guidance in the coming days.
Individual taxpayers can postpone federal income tax payments for tax year 2020 due April 15, 2021 through May 17, 2021, without penalties or interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferral applies to individual taxpayers, including people who pay self-employment tax.
Penalties, interest, and tax additions will begin to accrue on outstanding balances beginning May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on taxes paid before May 17.
Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax return and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file after the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until October 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software, or by using Free File the link at IRS.gov.
Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return, but does not provide an extension of time to pay taxes owed. Taxpayers must pay their federal income tax no later than May 17, 2021 to avoid interest and penalties.
The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.
This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. The postponement of the federal tax filing deadline to May 17, 2021 only applies to individual federal income returns.