IRS Delays Tax Filing Deadline Until May

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Excited woman working on taxes
Anatoliy Karlyuk /

Update: The IRS officially announced late Wednesday that it has postponed Tax Day until May 17, giving taxpayers until then to file their federal income tax returns for 2020 and pay any taxes owed for 2020.

For the second consecutive year, the IRS reportedly is going to delay the deadline for filing tax returns.

Instead of being due on April 15, your 2020 tax returns — the forms you file this year — will now be due in May, according to numerous reports.

The decision is not yet official, and the IRS has not yet announced a new deadline day. According to Bloomberg:

“The agency is considering setting the filing deadline either on May 15 or May 17, according to two of the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly because the decision had not been finalized. May 15 is a Saturday and the IRS typically delays filing deadlines that fall on a weekend or holiday to the next business day.”

Recently, both accountants and members of Congress have called for some type of filing deadline delay, citing new legislation and pandemic-related work changes that have made the tax season unusually complicated.

One of the most talked-about changes — a new tax exemption on up to $10,200 in jobless benefits that became law last week — is among the new wrinkles facing taxpayers and their accountants.

Bloomberg says recent changes in tax law mean some filers now will need to:

  • Wait for updated forms before filing.
  • Resubmit their return if they already have filed.
  • Consult with a tax professional to decide how to move forward, particularly if they already filed.

This year’s tax season got off to a slow start, when the IRS announced it would not begin accepting and processing income tax returns until Feb. 12. That was about two weeks later than in recent years past. That delay also was attributed to changes in tax law that became law late last year.

At that time, the IRS did not indicate that it was considering moving the filing-day deadline. If — as widely expected — the IRS now moves Tax Day to May, it will mark the second straight year that the agency has pushed the deadline forward.

Last year, the IRS moved Tax Day to July 15, a response to the chaos surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

It is important to note that an IRS decision to change Tax Day may not impact your state return. So, keep an eye on your local situation so that you know when to file your state taxes.

If you have fallen behind in preparing your taxes, consider the delay to be a late Christmas gift from Uncle Sam. Now, get to work! Millions of Americans use tax software to make the process of filing taxes much easier. Examples of such software include:

If you plan to use tax software, make sure you take one crucial step to protect your personal information. For more, check out “Be Sure to Do This With Your Tax Software.”

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