Tax Time 2021

by Matt Jones, CPA

It’s that time of year again! I can’t say I miss the ‘busy season’ hours from public accounting. I’m thankful for the extended deadline that some accountants will get to enjoy this year (or, does it just extend busy season another month? Yikes!).

I’ve given my perspective on extending your tax return in the past – this year, the IRS is automatically extending for some, many of whom are still anxiously awaiting a refund. Due to the stimulus payments, the Treasury Department has extended the individual filing deadline to May 17th, an additional month, without penalties and interest. Extensions are now available (if requested) until Oct. 15th.

The big catch here is that this deadline extension is only for federal income returns and taxes. Check your state/local guidelines to see if the extension has been granted in your area for these returns. 1

This May extension is automatic for individuals, so no need to file anything or make a formal request, but it will (of course) also delay any refund to which you may be entitled.

The 2020 tax filing will be used to determine your eligibility for any future stimulus payments. Check to see if your adjusted gross income has changed since your 2019 filing, or if you had a child or additional dependents added your household. It could affect your eligibility for those payments if your income has increased/decreased.

If you lost your job or are receiving jobless benefits, check with your accountant to see if you are eligible for a tax waiver on those benefits (available up to $10,200 in benefits for households making up to $150,000). If you have already filed your return and did not claim this waiver, the IRS has suggested waiting to amend your return while it determines how to proceed. Vague at best at this point, I know…

Again, this extension is at the federal level (think IRS). Every state’s policies will vary and this is unlikely to apply to other taxes like property tax. This extension does not apply to small businesses, so if you own a company or are responsible for filing for one – April 15th is still likely your due date.

Happy tax season!!

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