Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline for 2020 Extended to May 17

The change gives more time for individuals to properly file unemployment and stimulus claims.

click to enlarge Tax season is upon us. - Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels
Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels
Tax season is upon us.

2020’s havoc hasn’t ended with the change in the calendar year — after all, tax season is upon us.

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday that the federal income tax filing deadline for 2020 returns is being extended from April 15 to May 17. Additional guidance is forthcoming.

The federal bodies attribute the change to the upheaval that the ongoing coronavirus has caused through massive layoffs, unemployment claims and stimulus payments.

“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 says in a March 17 release. “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.”

Individual filers may delay payment of money owed to the IRS until May 17 without incurring penalties or interest.

Filers do, however, have to make any estimated quarterly tax payments by April 15. This would include filers with self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income.

The federal filing extension does not apply to filing state taxes, which may or may not employ the same deadline. Taxpayers should check with their individual states about deadlines.

In Ohio, it’s unclear if the April 15 state filing deadline would be extended. 

CityBeat called the Ohio Department of Taxation’s communication office, where a voicemail rerouted us to the individual taxpayer services division. A customer service representative there said that her team had not yet received guidance about any changes in Ohio’s filing deadline. She indicated that the state legislature will need to meet about amending the current April 15 deadline.

Read the full release from the U.S. Treasury and IRS.