A change to the tax season deadline brings a sigh of relief to many filers. The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced an automatic extension to the 2020 federal income tax filing due date for individuals. The timeline will move from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.
“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. The new tax season deadline “will help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic.”
While the season’s extension provides more time, the IRS urges filers not to delay. Below, we’ll cover the details of the changes and items you should know. Additionally, the IRS reminds taxpayers that they will provide further guidance within the next coming days.
Refund timing under the new tax season deadline
While most refunds process within 21 days, some may take longer. Reasons for extended processing time include:
– errors on the return
– incomplete returns
– claims for additional earned income tax or child tax credits
– bank posting delays
The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if there is a problem with a return. Since the IRS does not notify filers via email or phone, be wary of phishing scams and avoid refund myths. Calling the IRS won’t expedite a tax refund, nor will ordering a tax transcript.
Fast and easy refund updates
Where’s My Refund? allows taxpayers to check the status of an electronically filed return 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt. If you mailed your return, please wait four weeks before checking. The tool’s tracker displays progress in three phases:
1. return received
2. refund approved
3. refund sent
A taxpayer must enter their Social Security number or ITIN along with their filing status. Also, they must input the exact whole dollar amount of their expected refund. The system updates once a day, usually overnight. The IRS states that there is no need to check more frequently or file a second return.
Using your tax refund wisely
Some households are expecting a third stimulus check along with their tax refund. With the onslaught of a large lump sum, it’s crucial to budget the money wisely. We all want to make the most impact with our purchases. Furthermore, strategic investments can provide for a better future. With proper planning you can stay on track with your finances.
Does the tax season extension apply to everyone?
For those with revenue that isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment, interest, dividends, alimony, or rental properties, the relief does not apply. Estimated tax payments are still due on April 15, 2021. In most cases, taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer. For those filers, the tax season deadline of May 17, 2021, remains available.
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