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Will the 2021 Tax Filing Deadline Be Extended? CPA Group Asks IRS for Clarity

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What You Need to Know

  • AICPA urged the IRS to announce by March 1 any plans to extend the April 15 tax filing deadline.
  • It also asked the tax authority to provide underpayment and late payment penalty relief.
  • The group also pressed IRS to extend its acceptance of e-signatures.

The American Institute of CPAs is urging the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury to provide more certainty to taxpayers and tax practitioners about the April 15 filing deadline, as reports indicate the IRS may move the deadline if Congress approves another round of economic impact payments.

“This indecision is creating further uncertainty for taxpayers and their representatives,” AICPA said.

In a letter Monday, the AICPA urged Treasury and IRS to announce any pending tax filing and payment deadline postponements by March 1.

“If Treasury and IRS determine they cannot hold to the April 15 deadline, a decision should be announced by March 1 and the extended date should be June 15,” AICPA said.

On Feb. 16, AICPA also called on Treasury and IRS to provide underpayment and late payment penalty relief, delay collection activities and expand the temporary e-signature relief to the millions of taxpayers affected and working through the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created many new challenges for Americans, with individual taxpayers and businesses large and small working to balance the health and safety of their families, employees and clients with meeting their obligations to file and pay taxes in a timely manner,” AICPA said.

Taxpayers should also receive relief from underpayment penalties, according to the group, if they:

  • paid at least 70% of the tax due for the current year, or
  • paid 70% (90% if adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $150,000) of the amount of tax shown on their U.S. income tax return for the prior year.

Taxpayers should also receive relief from late payment penalties if they timely request an extension of time to file their income tax return and pay at least 70% of the taxes owed with the request, AICPA suggested.

“At a minimum the IRS should halt its automatic collections activities of liens and levies by at least 90 days after the April 15 (or the postponed) filing and payment deadline,” AICPA said. “At that time, the IRS should reassess further extending the halt of the automatic collection activities.”

AICPA also pressed IRS to extend its temporary policy of accepting e-signatures on certain tax forms. Currently, the policy applies to forms signed and postmarked by June 30.