IRS and California Franchise Tax Board Extend Deadlines for Individual Taxpayers to May 17, 2021 - What You Need to Know

March 19, 2021Client Alert

During the week of March 15, both the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board extended the deadlines for individual taxpayers to file their 2020 income tax returns and pay their 2020 taxes from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. 2020 income returns filed on or before May 17 will be considered timely, and no interest or penalties will accrue on account of 2020 income tax payments made by May 17 according to guidance issued in IRS IR-2021-59 and FTB News Release 2021-03. The IRS announcement states that taxpayers can still obtain extensions to file their 2020 income tax return until October 15, 2021, by filing a Form 4868 before the May 17 deadline. There is no extension for payment past May 17.

No other tax deadlines have been extended. And IRS IR-2021-59 and FTB News Release 2021-03 both expressly state that the April 15 deadline for making 2021 estimated tax payments remains unchanged.

Additionally, the deadlines for filing federal gift and estate tax returns also remain unchanged. (California has no State gift or estate tax.) The instructions to Form 4868 state: “An extension of time to file your 2020 calendar year income tax return also extends the time to file Form 709 for 2020. However, it doesn’t extend the time to pay any gift and GST tax you may owe for 2020.” Unless the IRS issues explicit guidance that the extension until May 17 is treated the same as an extension using Form 4868, we advise taxpayers who are required to file a 2020 gift tax return Form 709 to either file the gift tax return or a Form 4868 by the usual April 15, 2021 deadline.

Finally, last year, the April 10 property tax payment deadline for the second installment of annual property taxes was not extended, and we therefore do not anticipate that the property tax payment deadline will be extended in 2021.

We encourage you to reach out to a member of our Private Client Services Group with any questions or concerns.