The May 17 tax deadline is coming up: Here’s everything you need to know

Individuals have only a few extra days to file their 2020 tax returns — or threat going through a monetary penalty.


This yr, the IRS prolonged the normal tax-filing deadline from April 15 to Could 17, giving most taxpayers an additional month to organize their filings amid a slew of pandemic-related coverage adjustments included within the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

As of Could 7, the IRS had processed about 116 million returns. By comparability, it had obtained about 126.7 million returns. The company has issued roughly 84 million refunds thus far, down 3.2% from this level in 2020.

In the event you haven’t filed but, right here’s what that you must know:

Taxpayers can request an extension to Oct. 15

In the event you haven’t filed your taxes but, don’t fear — there’s nonetheless time to request an extension to Oct. 15. In the event you’re a person, you’ll be able to file for an extension on-line by filling out Kind 4868 utilizing the IRS’s “Free Filedevice. The shape requires an estimate of your tax legal responsibility.


However beware, for those who owe taxes to the federal authorities, funds are nonetheless due on Could 17. The IRS gives some payment plans to people who’re unable to pay their taxes in full. The extra you pay by Could 17, the much less curiosity and penalty fees you’ll owe.

You must file your taxes on-line if attainable 

Submitting your taxes electronically is the quickest approach to get a refund, in keeping with the IRS, particularly because the company works its means by means of a backlog of paper returns that constructed up final yr through the coronavirus pandemic.


The company says that it points about 9 out of 10 refunds in lower than 21 days. In 2018, about 90% of taxpayers filed their returns on-line.

There’s nonetheless time to contribute to your IRA

The deadline for Individuals to make a contribution to their IRA for 2020 is Could 17. The utmost annual contribution for conventional and Roth IRAs for many Individuals is $6,000. In the event you‘re over the age of fifty, you’ll be able to add an extra $1,000.

Conventional IRA contributions could also be tax-deductible – withdrawals are sometimes taxable – though there are a number of complicating elements, together with earnings limits and whether or not you or your partner are lined by a office retirement plan.

As an illustration, your deduction could also be restricted for those who or your partner are lined by a retirement plan at work and your earnings exceeds sure ranges. However your deduction is allowed in full for those who aren’t lined by a retirement plan at work, in keeping with the IRS.

Your refund is perhaps delayed 

The IRS is holding greater than 29 million tax returns for handbook processing, delaying refunds for a lot of low-income Individuals, in keeping with its inside watchdog.

“As one would anticipate, IRS staff are stretched skinny working by means of the handbook processing of those returns,” Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins wrote in a current blog submit. “So if a taxpayer’s return is pulled for handbook processing, there can be delays.”

At the very least 8 million returns have been positioned in “suspense” till an IRS worker can overview them to make sure the taxpayers obtained the absolutely promised stimulus test cash. IRS officers are additionally calculating the earned earnings tax credit score and the kid tax credit score – two tax credit for lower-income Individuals that have been expanded in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package deal.

On high of that, 5.3 million 2019 or 2020 paper returns are awaiting handbook processing, whereas 4.7 million returns have processing errors or fraud identification points that require a response from the taxpayer. The IRS withheld 11 million enterprise returns for handbook processing.

“From a taxpayer’s perspective, it seems like their return has fallen right into a black gap: they have no idea what’s going on, when they may get their refund, why it’s being delayed, or get solutions or assist,” Collins wrote.

Along with a excessive quantity of 2020 returns that want handbook processing, the IRS is grappling with an enormous backlog of processed 2019 paper tax returns and the herculean job of delivering tens of millions of stimulus checks.

Collins estimated that simply 1 out of each 50 calls to the IRS customer support consultant service line is being answered.

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