To File or Not to File: IRS Extends Some Tax Deadlines

This week the U.S. Treasury Department announced it is delaying the income tax deadline for individuals from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021. This includes 2020 Form 1040 tax returns, extensions thereon and any remaining 2020 federal tax liabilities. While the IRS stated that the purpose is to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, it is also clear that the IRS has its hands full with the multiple tax law changes over the last 12 months and the burden of having to dispense stimulus checks required as a result of the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act (see our blog article from earlier this week).

We expect that Georgia and most states will follow suit, but as of this writing there have been few announcements of such. Some states are already under automatic extension due to various storms, including Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Unlike the wholesale extensions allowed last year when the pandemic lockdown first started, this extension does NOT apply to:

  • First quarter 2021 estimated tax payments
  • Business income tax returns such as C corporations and fiscal year partnerships
  • Trust and estate income tax returns
  • Payroll tax filings


For those considering making contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts and/or Health Savings Accounts with 2020 deadlines of April 15, 2021, it is unclear as of this writing whether the IRS intends to grant an extension for such.

A note for our Williams Benator & Libby clients: our associates are pressing forward with tax season filings and extension calculations as if this IRS automatic extension had not been granted. Last year’s extension gave CPA firms some relief in April, but it resulted in a grueling and extended tax season which many accountants and clients prefer not to duplicate.

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