WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The Internal Revenue Service will push back the federal tax deadline by a month.
The filing deadline, which was originally scheduled for April 15, will now be May 17.
“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”
While the change lifts a penalty for paying taxes as well, the relief doesn’t apply for estimated tax payments. Most Americans, however, have their taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks.
U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Richard Neal (D-MA), both leaders in the House Ways and Means Committee, applauded the move in a joint statement.
“This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis,” they said in a statement. “Under titanic stress and strain, American taxpayers and tax preparers must have more time to file tax returns. And the IRS itself started the filing season late, continues to be behind schedule, and now must implement changes from the American Rescue Plan.”
The two had called for the extension and said they would continue to monitor developments during the filing season.
Rettig is scheduled to testify to their committee on Thursday.
The change doesn’t impact state tax deadlines, according to the IRS.
In addition, residents of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma already had an extension to June 15, due to the winter disaster last month.
The IRS said it still plans to issue tax refunds for e-filed returns within 21 days, despite the backlog.
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