This year’s tax filing and payment deadlines have been extended to July 15 from April 15 for many taxpayers. Here is everything you need to know about Tax Day, 2021.
This doesn’t happen in 2021, however, when you’ll be filing your 2019 tax return. July 15 falls on a Wednesday and it’s not a holiday, so the filing deadline for your 2019 personal tax return is indeed July 15, 2020.
When is Tax Day?
The Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for filing individual tax returns for 2019 to July 15 from April 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Millions of taxpayers now have an extra three months to file returns and pay what they owe the IRS for 2019.
The deadline for making contributions to individual retirement accounts and Roth IRAs is now July 15; returns with automatic filing extensions are still due Oct. 15, and there are ways for filers to delay automatic tax payments previously scheduled for April 15.
The IRS also said it generally won’t start new audits, and will suspend in-person meetings with taxpayers under exam through July 15. It also won’t submit the names of delinquent taxpayers to the State Department for potential restrictions on their passports.
Deadlines in Calendar Year 2021 for 2020 Returns
Deadlines for returns are almost invariably in the spring, with extensions available until the fall:
Individual income tax returns
July 15 falls on a Wednesday in 2021, when you’ll be filing your 2019 tax return, and it’s not a holiday, so the filing deadline for your 2019 personal tax return is indeed July 15, 2020.1 The Internal Revenue Service began processing these tax returns on Jan. 27, 2021.2
Estimated tax paymentsfor the 2019 tax year(IRS Form 1040)
These were due in 2019 on April 15, June 15, and Sept. 15. They’re mostly payable during the tax year they apply to. An exception is the fourth and final estimated payment for the 2019 tax year. That’s due on Jan. 15, 2021.3
Partnership returns(IRS Form 1065)
These are dueMarch 16, 2021. The extended deadline is Sept. 15, 2021
Estates and trusts income tax returns(IRS Form 1041)
These are dueJuly 15, 2021. Additional time can be requested by filing Form 7004.4
Gift tax returns (IRS Form 709)
These are usually due April 15 in the year after the gift was made. For 2021, it’s July 15. Requesting a federal income tax return extension automatically extends this date as well until Oct. 15.
C-corporation income tax returns(IRS Form 1120)
These are due July 15, 2021, for C corporationsthat operate on a calendar year. The extended deadline is Oct. 15, 2021.
The deadline for C corp returns is the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the corporation’s fiscal year if the corporation operates on a fiscal rather than a calendar year.3
S-corporation returns(IRS Form 1120-S)
These returns are dueMarch 16, 2021, for corporations on a calendar year. The extended deadline is Sept. 15, 2021.
The deadline for S corp and partnership returns is the 15th day of the third month following the end of the fiscal year if they’re on a fiscal year rather than a calendar year.
Foreign bank account reports(IRS FinCen Form 114)
These reports are due July 15, 2021. The extended deadline with Form 1040 is Oct. 15, 2021.
Tax Deadlines for Quarterly Estimated Payments in 2021
The IRS requires quarterly estimated tax payments from many people whose income isn’t subject to payroll withholding taxes (usually the self-employed, independent contractors, or people with investment earnings).
For estimated taxes, the answer to “when are taxes due?” varies: The year is divided into four payment periods, and each period has its own payment due date.
In 2021 the IRS has pushed the annual tax-filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, and that change also applies to some 2021 estimated tax payments.
Here’s a look:
If you earned income during this period
Estimated tax payment deadline
Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2019
Jan. 15, 2020
Jan. 1 – Mar. 31, 2021
April 15 July 15
April 1 – May 31, 2020
June 15 July 15
June 1 – Aug. 31, 2020
Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020
Jan. 15, 2021
Six Tax Moves to Consider Before The Tax Deadline
1. File your 2016 tax return (yes, 2016)
If you were due a refund for the 2016 tax year but didn’t file a tax return, you only have until April 15 (the original tax deadline) to submit that old Form 1040 and claim your money.
So if you haven’t filed, get to work! Miss the 2021 tax deadline, and the U.S. Treasury gets to keep your money.
2. Max out your 401(k) by Dec. 31
Contributions to a traditional 401(k) reduce your total taxable income for the year.
For example, let’s say you make $65,000 a year and put $19,500 (the limit in 2021) into your 401(k). Instead of paying income taxes on the entire $65,000 you earned, you’ll only owe on $45,500 of your salary. In other words, saving for the future lets you shield $19,500 from taxes (and even more if you’re 50 or older.
Many employers offer to match a portion of what you save, meaning that if you contribute enough to your account, you’ll also nab some free money.
3. Contribute to or open an IRA by Tax Day
Contributions to a traditional IRA can be tax-deductible.
You have until the July 15, 2021, tax deadline to contribute to an IRA, either Roth or traditional, for the 2019 tax year.
The 2019 maximum contribution amount for either type of IRA is $6,000 — or $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older.
4. Contribute to your Health Savings Account
This medical account, available to individuals who have a high-deductible health plan, provides a tax-saving way to pay for out-of-pocket costs.
You have until the July 15, 2021, tax deadline to contribute to an HSA for the 2019 tax year.
The 2019 limits are $3,500 for an individual HSA owner and $7,000 for a family. For 2021, the individual coverage contribution limit is $3,550 and the family coverage limit is $7,100.
5. File for an extension by Tax Day (but still pay)
If you can’t finish your return by the July 15 tax deadline, file IRS Form 4868. This will buy most taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file their tax returns.
A tax extension gets you more time to file your return, not more time to pay your taxes. You still must pay any tax you owe, or a good estimate of that amount, by the tax deadline. Include that payment with your extension request or you could face a late-payment penalty on the taxes due.
1. Do I have to file a special form to use the July 15 deadline?
No. If you file a return or an automatic extension request and pay your tax due by July 15, no interest or penalties will be due.