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When is Tax Day? Deadlines and Changes for 2021 Filing Season

The IRS and Treasury Department postponed the April 15 tax-filing deadline to May 17, the agencies announced this week.

“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,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

Taxpayers can also delay payment of any money owed to the IRS until May 17, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax.

The extended deadline applies only to federal income returns and taxes. Taxpayers will need to check to see if due dates for state taxes have been changed because not all states follow the same filing deadline as the federal government.

Want to know more about filing your taxes in 2021? Read our free, comprehensive guide.

Details on Tax Day 2021

Tax Day, the day when most Americans are required to file their federal income tax return, has become almost an anti-holiday. Extenuating circumstances can cause Tax Day to be changed. Last year, Tax Day was pushed back three months to July 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. And if Tax Day falls on a weekend, it’s usually moved to the following Monday.

“Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds,” Rettig said. “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.”

Keep in mind that the IRS allows taxpayers to file for an extension beyond the normal tax-filing deadline. You can receive a six-month extension for practically any reason simply by filing IRS Form 4869, giving you until October 15 to file your return.

However, receiving an extension only extends the due date for filing your tax return. It doesn’t extend the due date for paying any taxes that may be due — you still must pay these by May 17, 2021. If you don’t, you could face late-payment penalties on top of the amount of tax that is due.

When Are Estimated Taxes Due?

Most people who work for an employer have federal taxes withheld from their gross wages each pay period. For them, Tax Day mainly involves filing an income tax return and paying additional taxes due (if there are any) or claiming a tax refund.

But some people don’t have taxes withheld from wages by an employer — this includes independent contractors, self-employed individuals and those who earn money from tips or receive investment earnings. These individuals usually must make estimated tax payments according to a quarterly or monthly estimated tax schedule.

The Tax Day relief does not apply to estimated tax payments. These payments are still due on April 15.

In 2021, quarterly estimated tax payments are due on the following dates:

  • First quarter: April 15, 2021
  • Second quarter: June 15, 2021
  • Third quarter: September 15, 2021
  • Fourth quarter: January 15, 2022

If estimated taxes aren’t paid by the deadline, late-payment penalties could be assessed on the amount of taxes that’s due. Individuals who don’t pay their quarterly estimated tax by January 15, 2021, but file their 2020 tax return early, however, will not be assessed a penalty. This date is extended to January 31, 2021, for self-employed individuals.

Read More: Tax Prep as an Entrepreneur

Start Preparing for Tax Day Now

Even with the extension, it’s not too early to start preparing for Tax Day 2021. Be sure to speak with your tax advisor and personal financial planner for guidance in your specific situation.

Paying your taxes is only one aspect of personal finance. To stay on top of your finances, you can manage your money with free, online financial tools. Millions of people use Personal Capital’s free dashboard to see all of their financial accounts in one place. Using the technology, you can:

As Tax Day comes upon us, you’ll know exactly where you stand financially.

Get Your Free Financial Dashboard

Personal Capital compensates Brian E. Leyde  (“Author”) for providing the content contained in this blog post. The information and content provided herein is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. Individuals should contact their own professional tax advisors or other professionals to help answer questions about specific situations or needs prior to taking action based on this information. Tax laws and authorities are subject to change, either prospectively or retroactively, and any subsequent change could have a material impact on your situation.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Brian E. Leyde, CPA, MPAcc, is a tax specialist with Seattle Tax Group. He has worked with individuals and businesses in a variety of industries. A true economist at heart, Brian’s experience spans various CPA firms. He has owned his own CPA firm and has also worked for one of the Big Four accounting firms (KPMG) and a regional firm in the Pacific Northwest (Clark Nuber). He also understands the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, having bought, operated, and sold businesses. He is driven to help his clients reach their business and life goals.
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