Michael Cardinal, FISM News
The IRS announced on Wednesday that they were delaying the deadline for filing taxes to May 17th. The extra month was being pushed for by Democrat legislators due to the COVID pandemic and to give taxpayers more time to “fully understand” how the recent stimulus bill may affect their liability.
This marks a change in the stance of the IRS, who had previously seemed determined to keep the filing deadline set on the typical Tax Day of April 15th. Prior to this reversal, the IRS had said that an extension would add a burden to the agency and taxpayers. The month delay is much less than a year ago, when the IRS pushed back the filing deadline by three months to July 15th.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig released a statement on Wednesday saying,
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.”
He however encouraged for those who are able, to file “as soon as possible” as it will expedite the time that those who are owed stimulus payments will receive them. The IRS is the agency tasked with the responsibility of distributing the economic stimulus checks provided through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
The New York Times reported that this extension would also provide “taxpayers a chance to enhance their chances of receiving stimulus funds by giving them more time to contribute to an individual retirement account or a health savings account.” Those who are near the threshold of a stimulus payment can contribute to these tax-advantaged accounts, thus decreasing their 2020 income and potentially making them eligible for a government subsidized check.
The IRS reported that the extension would be automatic for all individual taxpayers, and anyone filing before May 17th would “avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid.”