April may be here, but Tax Day is not. This year, the deadline to file your federal and California 2020 income tax return was extended to May 17, 2021. The extended deadline is meant to give people more time to file their returns and to provide more time for everyone involved to adjust to the challenges of filing taxes in the age of COVID-19. The extended tax filing and payment deadline applies to all individual state and federal taxpayers whose tax returns and payments were initially due on April 15, 2021.
There is however an exception to this extended deadline. First quarter estimated tax payments are still due on April 15, 2021.1 The extended May 17 filing deadline does not apply to people who owe estimated tax payments. This April 15 deadline applies to both California and federal estimated tax payments.2
Individual taxpayers do not need to take any action to qualify for the federal or the California Tax Day postponements. California’s Franchise Tax Board and the IRS will waive interest and late payment penalties for individuals who file their tax returns and make payments by May 17th.3 Individuals who do not file and pay their 2020 taxes by May 17, 2021 will have to pay applicable penalties and interest to both the IRS and to the State of California.4 The IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board are urging individuals to file their taxes as soon as possible so that filers can collect any refunds they are owed and claim any applicable credits, such as the California Earned Income Tax Credit.
To learn more about California’s Tax Day extension click here.
To learn more about the federal Tad Day extension click here.
1 IRS, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline; Franchise Tax Board, https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/news-releases/2021-03-state-tax-deadline-for-individuals-postponed-until-may-17-2021.html.
3 Franchise Tax Board, https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/news-releases/2021-03-state-tax-deadline-for-individuals-postponed-until-may-17-2021.html; IRS, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline.
4 Franchise Tax Board FAQs, https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/2020-tax-year-extension-to-file-and-pay-individual.html; IRS, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline.