Individual Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extended to May 17, 2021

Burns & Levinson LLP

Burns & Levinson LLP

[co-author: Howard Schwartz]

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service announced on March 17, 2021, that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals will be automatically extended from April 15 to May 17, 2021. This extension applies to Individual Income Tax Returns only. All other tax returns with an April 15, 2021 filing deadline do not receive this automatic extension. Here are the key takeaways of this announcement:

  • The extension is automatic; no forms or permissions are required for individual taxpayers to qualify for the May 17, 2021 extension.
  • Individual taxpayers can postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year, originally due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest.
  • Penalties, interest, and additions to taxes will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021.
  • Individual taxpayers in need of additional time to file may request filing an extension to October 15, 2021 by filing Form 4868. This form must be filed by May 17, 2021, and any tax due must be paid at that time.
  • Not all states comply with the May 17, 2021 extension date. We recommend checking with your specific state tax office.


  • The extension does not apply to estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2021. An individual’s first estimated tax payment is still due on April 15, 2021.

We encourage you to connect with your tax professional and monitor your state’s tax filing deadline for state tax return updates, as several (but not all) states have extended deadlines in congruence with the federal government.

For more information, click here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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