April 13, 2021

Extended Tax Season: May 17 Deadline Doesn’t Apply to All Returns or Payments

By Heather Santonino, Director, Tax & Business Services

Extended Tax Season: May 17 Deadline Doesn’t Apply to All Returns or Payments Tax & Business

The extension of the federal tax deadline to May 17, 2021, is great news – but not for everyone. Announced by the Internal Revenue Service on March 17, the extension applies to individual tax returns originally due on April 15, but not to corporate or certain other returns.

The extended federal due date also doesn’t apply to state returns. Taxpayers should be looking to the states where they have filing requirements to determine if the state is following the federal extended deadline or not. Given the fact that most states start with federal income, a federal return will still need to be completed in order to timely file a state return if the state didn’t extend the filing deadline.

The IRS not only extended the deadline for filing, but also extended the deadline for paying any taxes due with the return, to May 17, 2021, without any penalties and interest. If not filed and paid by May 17, penalties and interest will start accruing. Again, this applies to federal individual income tax returns only. The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to receive refunds.

This relief does NOT apply to first quarter 2021 estimated tax payments. These payments are still due April 15. Every taxpayer’s situation is different, based on their individual facts and circumstances, most especially in cases of divorce. Special care needs to be taken to understand the filing requirements and due dates. It should not be assumed that all deadlines are extended to May 17. Decisions need to be made as to whether joint or separate returns will be filed. If a decision to file jointly in 2020 is made, separate estimated tax payments may be necessary for the 2021 tax year if the divorce will be finalized in 2021. The April 15 due date for first quarter estimates still applies.

If additional time to file is needed beyond the applicable deadlines – including the automatic extension to May 17 for individual taxpayers — federal extension Form 4868 needs to be filed. All states, with the exception of Hawaii, followed the federal extended deadline but may require a separate state extension form. Additionally, estimated tax payments for states may still be due April 15.

If you have any questions related to the filing deadline, please contact your Marcum Tax advisor.