Delayed Start To The 2021 Tax Filing Season

On January 15, 2021, the IRS announced that it won’t be ready to start accepting and processing 2020 tax returns for individuals until February 12, 2021. This is later than in previous years, when the IRS is usually ready to accept and process returns by mid to late January.

The delay is due to the additional time the IRS needs to do additional programming and testing of its systems following the recent tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.

Who is impacted:

  • There is no impact to business entities. The IRS began accepting and processing Tax Year 2020 business tax returns on January 8, 2021.
  • The IRS will start accepting individual paper and electronically filed returns on February 12, 2021.
  • The IRS has announced there will also be delays of their testing scenarios for Nonresident Alien Income Tax Returns filed using Form 1040-NR. It is expected the IRS will be ready to start accepting these returns in March or possibly as late as April.

Don’t let this delay stop you from gathering your tax documentation and getting your information to your tax professional. It is still advisable to start preparation of returns as soon as possible, and with the added complications this year, we anticipate even more extensions will need to be filed. Tax preparers and tax software companies can hold any completed returns in their system until the IRS is ready to start accepting them.

Filing Deadlines

There is no indication as of the date of this post that there is any intention to extend the normal filing deadlines. As it currently stands the 2020 tax year returns are due as follows:

IndividualsApril 15, 2021
Partnerships/LLCsMarch 15, 2021
S-CorporationsMarch 15, 2021
Calendar Year C-Corporations *April 15, 2021
Calendar year Trust & Estates **April 15, 2021
Gift Tax Returns **April 15, 2021
Exempt Organizations **April 15, 2021

*For fiscal year entities with tax year ends other than June 30, these returns are due on or before the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of the tax year. For fiscal year entities with a tax year end of June 30, these returns are due on or before the 15th day of the 3rd month following the close of the tax year.

**The IRS has not yet confirmed these filing dates, but no changes to the usual deadlines are expected at this time.

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