Unfortunately, filers won’t get any extra time this year to tackle their tax returns. The IRS has confirmed this week that it will not, in fact, be pushing back the April 15 deadline this year. If you haven’t begun to give your taxes some thought, now’s the time to get moving.
I wish they framed this advice with a word of caution rather than told everyone to file ASAP blindly. For people with higher income in 2020 than in 2019 and who are in the phase out portion for the likely 3rd stimulus, it may be very wise to delay filing this year so that their stimulus check is still based on 2019 income instead of their 2020 income.
May not even need to get an extension. If the law passes mid-March and you receive your stimulus via direct deposit, you’ll likely get it before Mid April deadline. But if push comes to shove, make a conservative estimate, pay a little over to be certain, and file for an extension. Not like your float is earning tons these days anyway so it may be worth it.
As of Jan. 29, the agency still hadn’t processed 6.7 million individual returns for the 2019 tax year. That’s a problem for anyone expecting refunds, which will be delayed.
The problems may not dissipate this year. The IRS has already said it wouldn’t start processing 2020 returns until Feb. 12, two weeks later than usual. A new batch of stimulus checks, which the Biden administration is hashing out with Congress, could throw yet another wrench into filingseason.
I’m old enough to remember the saying, “It would take an act of congress to…” meant that something was extremely unlikely to happen. “It would take an act of congress to delay the IRS tax deadline,” would have meant that there was no chance it would happen. Now… well, that just means that it could easily happen because this is the sort of thing congress has been doing for the past year.