For parents who are well behind on their taxes this year, and looking down the barrel of a tax filing date in less than a month, there is finally some blessedly good news. Tax day, according to the IRS and the Treasury Department, has been pushed back from the normal deadline for the federal income tax filing date from April 15 to May 17.
Here’s What to Know About the New Tax Day Deadline
The extra month added onto the deadline comes at a time when the IRS and the Treasury Department are under significant strain to get out the $1,400 stimulus checks to millions of Americans, and when many Americans are struggling to navigate their tax returns and finances during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sent many people’s finances straight up into the atmosphere.
And it’s not the first time the IRS has pushed back federal tax deadlines to help people out. In fact, just last year, the IRS pushed the tax payment deadline back to July 15 as the pandemic ravaged the country. It looks like they’re taking pity on us taxpayers once again.
“The IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic,” said Check Rettig, the commissioner of the IRS.
Here’s Why You Should Still File Your Taxes ASAP
Even though the deadline has been blessedly extended — which is good news for both taxpayers and the IRS, an organization that is currently being crushed under the weight of stimulus payments and the package itself as well as trying to set up a portal for monthly child allowance payments — that doesn’t mean that you should wait until the last minute to file your taxes, especially if you had a significant change in income, job loss, or had a kid this year.
Why? Because, if you get your taxes in early enough, the size of your stimulus payments (and if you have any dependent payments) will be determined on your 2021 tax return.
Are you one of the many millions of Americans who lost their job or had their income cut in 2020? File those taxes. Did you have a baby, qualifying you for dependent stimulus payments and the monthly or semi-yearly child allowance payments? File those taxes! Did you not realize that the first $10,200 in federal unemployment payments is now tax-exempt? File those taxes accordingly!
“Even with this new deadline,” Rettig said, “we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds.”
That being said, having a few more weeks to get everything together — rather than cramming it in during one terrible, stressful week — is a deep breath of relief for all parents.