Federal Tax Day Pushed Back; Stay Tuned For State

By now, you’ve probably heard the timely taxing news. Reacting once again to the COVID-19 crisis, the Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for filing income tax returns by about one more month. The new due date is May 17.

But for now, taxpayers in Minnesota still can’t count on having another month to finish all of their tax chores for 2020.  That’s because the federal tax return is a starting point for their state  income tax returns and possibly for those in as many as 41 other states. The IRS postponement does not automatically push back their due dates.

 Generally, Minnesota does follow the federal lead.  Minnesota’s Department of Revenue did not immediately release any change in its April 15 deadline following  the IRS action on Wednesday (March 17).

Here are a few more details about the IRS extension:

  • The extension is automatic. No forms or requests are necessary.
  • Individual taxpayers can wait until May 17 to pay their federal income taxes for the 2020 tax year. That includes those filers who pay self-employment taxes. Any penalties or interest on amounts due will not begin until the same date.
  • Taxpayers asking for a regular filing extension (with Form 4868) will have until Oct. 15 to turn in their returns. As usual, they also must pay income taxes by due date, which is now May 17.  
  • The delay does not apply to any quarterly estimated tax payments for 2021 that are due on April 15, the IRS noted in its announcement.
  • See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline

Minnesota Revenue has said it will assist individual taxpayers who cannot make tax payments or owe interest on late payments for reasons related to the coronavirus epidemic.

Eric Buechler, owner of EricJohn Ltd., can offer expert advice about filing 2020 state or federal income taxes. He is an enrolled agent recognized by the IRS.