IRS Extends Tax Return Filing / Payment Date

Updated March 30, 2021; originally published March 17, 2021

Due to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) backlog related to the COVID-19 pandemic and tax law changes recently passed since the start of the pandemic, the Treasury Department and IRS announced on March 17, 2021, that they are providing a short extension of the deadline for individuals to file their federal income tax returns and pay any 2020 balance due.

According to the announcement, the April 15, 2021, due date for filing and 2020 balance due payments is extended one month to May 17, 2021. This relief applies only to individual tax returns and 2020 balance due payments. The April 15, 2021, first quarter estimated payments are not covered by the relief. The extended due date remains October 15, 2021, for returns originally due April 15, 2021.


Additional IRS Guidance Under Notice 2021-21

On March 30, 2021, the IRS issued guidance regarding the extension under Notice 2021-21. The notice provides additional provisions and clarifications, including:

  • Reiterating that the extension does not apply to 2021 first quarter estimated tax payments; these are still due April 15, 2021
  • Providing that contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRA), Roth IRAs, health savings accounts (HSA), Archer medical savings accounts (MSA) and Coverdell education savings accounts (ESA) are all due May 17, 2021
  • Clarifying that the extension applies to Forms 1040, 1040SR, 1040NR, 1040PR, 1040SS and 1040(SP), including all schedules, returns and other forms filed as attachments
  • Clarifying that interest and penalties for 2020 balance due payments will start to accrue May 18, 2021
  • Providing that individuals with claims for a refund/credit whose limitations periods would expire on or after April 15, 2021, and before May 17, 2021, have until May 17, 2021, to file their claims