x
Breaking News
More () »

Columbia's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Columbia, South Carolina | WLTX.com

Tax returns this year are due May 17 and, for three states, June 15

This year tax filers have extended deadlines, and some can deduct items like masks.
Credit: AP
FILE - This Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 file photo shows part of a 1040 federal tax form printed from the Internal Revenue Service website, in Zelienople, Pa. Tax filing season will start a bit later and look a bit different this year. That’s because the pandemic that defined 2020 has seeped into tax time as well. If you worked from home, received a relief payment, took on some gig work or filed unemployment benefits _ or someone filed a fake claim in your name _ there are things you need to be aware of. Likewise if you normally receive certain tax credits. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

After over a year of restrictions due to COVID-19 and some significant weather events, the IRS has adjusted deadlines on when tax returns are due. Tammy R. reached out to VERIFY, wanting to make sure she knows the new tax deadlines for 2021.

There are also new items related to the pandemic that filers may be able to deduct this year. Here’s what you need to know about filing taxes.

THE QUESTION

When is the IRS deadline for filing returns — and paying money owed — for the 2020 tax year? 

SOURCES

  • The Internal Revenue Service

  • The Journal of Accountancy 

THE ANSWER

The IRS pushed back the tax filing deadline to May 17. Taxpayers in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas are getting a deadline extension to June 15.

WHAT WE FOUND

In an announcement in March, the IRS said it was pushing back the tax filing deadline to May 17 for residents of most states. Taxpayers in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana get until June 15 to get their filings done. 

As usual, taxpayers can request an extension to file taxes by Oct. 15, although they still must pay any money owed by May 17 or, for the three states affected, June 15. However, the self-employed and others who make estimated quarterly payments to the IRS don’t get this break. Their tax payments are still due April 15, except for filers in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, whose deadline is June 15.

So how about contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts, often done by April 15 to reduce tax liabilities? The good news is that the May 17 and June 15 dates also apply for regular and Roth IRAs, HSAs, Archer medical savings accounts (for the self-employed and businesses with 50 or fewer employees) and Coverdell education savings accounts, the IRS says.

For those who itemize, money spent on masks, hand sanitizer and PPE is also deductible, the IRS recently announced. Teachers are also able to take off PPE costs under the educator expense deduction, the tax agency says.

Although the IRS cites the pandemic as the reason for moving the tax deadlines, the Journal of Accountancy says the American Rescue Plan Act, passed March 11, has played a factor. It has kept the agency busy with sending out a third round of stimulus payments as well as dealing with retroactive changes for the 2020 tax year regarding jobless benefits, the journal says.