Great news! In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has automatically extended tax season until May 17, 2021, for the 2020 filing season. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions that may pertain to your return.
What does this mean?
You still have time to file your taxes for a refund! Not owed a refund? Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interests, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Any interest and penalties owed will begin to accrue on May 18, 2021.
What about contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts?
The IRS is also automatically postponing the deadline to May 17, 2021, for individuals to make 2020 contributions to their retirements (IRAs and ROTH IRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and education savings accounts.
What about unclaimed refunds from 2017?
For 2017 Federal income tax returns, the deadline to claim a refund has been extended to May 17, 2021. The law provides a three-year window to claim a refund. If you do not file a return within the three-year window, you may forfeit the opportunity to claim it.
Did you receive unemployment in 2020?
The American Rescue Plan waives federal income taxes on the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 by middle and lower-income taxpayers. This tax relief is extended to those who received benefits through federal unemployment programs and those who received traditional benefits through their state unemployment insurance fund. The first $10,200 of unemployment income is tax-free. The IRS will provide a worksheet for paper filers for those who have yet to file their taxes. Also, most tax software programs have been updated to reflect this change.
What If I already filed my 2020 return and received unemployment benefits?
For those taxpayers that received unemployment benefits last year and already filed their 2020 tax return, the IRS emphasizes they should not file an amended return at this time. The IRS will issue additional guidance later.
Where can I file my taxes for free from the comfort of my home?
MyFreeTaxes.com is a secure service for taxpayers to file their federal and state taxes for free, brought to you by United Way. There is no income limit to use MyFreeTaxes.com; simply signup, and a link will arrive in your email in about one hour. This option is right for you if you are comfortable using online tax services. For other free tax preparation services, visit https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/.
What is “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance-VITA’?
VITA is an IRS program that utilizes certified volunteers to provide free and accurate tax preparation services to low-to-moderate-income taxpayers. Taxpayers can have their federal tax return prepared, e-filed, and directly deposited for FREE. Call 211 today for up-to-date information on VITA sites and locations that can assist you this tax season.
Where is my refund?
Most tax refunds associated with e-file returns are issued within 21 days. You may check your refund status by visiting https://www.irs.gov/refunds and clicking “Check My Refund Status”. You will need your filing status and refund amount to check the status of your refund.