The due date for filing 2020 federal income tax returns is May 17, 2021.
Individuals and businesses affected by winter storms in Texas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma can delay filing 2020 returns until June 15. This extension also applies to any other tax-related due dates that occur before June 15, including April's quarterly estimated payments and any business taxes that would otherwise be due March 15. Taxpayers in other areas have until May 17, 2021 to file their federal 2020 taxes, but this applies to individuals only, not businesses.
If you request an extension on your 2020 tax return, the deadline to file is October 15, 2021. If you received stimulus payments in 2020, these are not taxable and do not reduce your tax refund in 2021.
Where you should mail your federal return remains unchanged.
2021 Income Tax Due Dates
Unless your business is eligible for a delay due to winter storms in Texas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, the tax return due date of April 15, 2021, includes:
- Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs filing Schedule C along with their personal returns
- Partners, multiple-member LLC members, and S corporation owners filing Schedule K-1 for their share of their businesses
- Corporations with a December 31 year-end that are filing Form 1120
- First-quarter estimated tax payments for individuals and small businesses
Tax refunds can be filed starting on February 12, 2021.
Mailing Your Tax Return
Individuals, including small business owners, can mail their individual returns—Form 1040 or 1040 SR—to an IRS location that's based on their state. The IRS provides a state-by-state list of these addresses on its website.
Mailing in your tax return takes extra time under normal circumstances, and the IRS indicates that processing times are especially backlogged during the ongoing public health crisis. The IRS strongly urges you to file electronically.
Mailing addresses for partnership Form 1065 partnership returns, Form 1102 corporate returns, and Form 1120 S corporate returns are provided on a separate IRS webpage.
Tips from the U.S. Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service warns taxpayers to be sure they use correct postage. Weigh your return, or take it to the post office to have it weighed.
Tax returns sent without enough postage will be returned, and that's just wasted time.
You can purchase a certificate of mailing at the post office to prove that you mailed your return on a specific date. Keep the certificate; the post office doesn't keep copies.
The postmark is what counts when mailing your business return. Some post office locations offer extended hours and late postmarking before Tax Day.
E-filing Your Tax Return
The IRS encourages taxpayers to use Free File for Forms 1040 or 1040-SR if they qualify.
You can use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file your return if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $72,000 or less. You can download Free File forms and complete them yourself if your AGI is higher than this.
You might be able to qualify for free tax help from the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program if:
- Your income is $57,000 or less.
- You're disabled.
- You have limited English-language skills.
You might qualify for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program (including tax return preparation) if you're age 60 or older.
Many of these sites may be temporarily closed or have limited in-person hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but telephone and other assistance might still be available. Call 800-906-9887 to find out whether you can receive assistance in person or over the phone.
You can also use commercial tax preparation software or a paid preparer to e-file. They'll charge you for preparing the return, but e-filing is usually included.
Filing and Paying Corporate Taxes
You must use approved software or a tax professional who is an authorized e-file provider if you're filing an income tax return for your corporation or S corporation. This includes LLCs that elect to be taxed as corporations or S corporations.
Paying Other Business Taxes
Making your tax payments online is the best and easiest way to pay. LLC owners, sole proprietors, or partners in partnerships can use one of several IRS e-pay options, including direct debit from a bank account, credit card, or debit card.
Corporation and partnership returns should use the IRS Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
Using a Private Delivery Service
You can use a private delivery service, but only certain IRS-approved services are acceptable.
The IRS lists DHL, Federal Express, and UPS as designated private delivery services, but only some of the services from these companies are acceptable, including:
- DHL Express (DHL): DHL Express 9:00, DHL Express 10:30, DHL Express 12:00, DHL Express Worldwide, DHL Express Envelope, DHL Import Express 10:30, DHL Import Express 12:00, DHL Import Express Worldwide
- Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2 Day, FedEx International Next Flight Out, FedEx International Priority, FedEx International First, FedEx International Economy
- United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air Early A.M., UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Worldwide Express
Filing an Extension Application
You can e-file an extension application or mail it to the IRS. There are two application forms for most circumstances: Form 7004 for corporations and partnerships, and Form 4868 for other business types and personal returns.
You can get an automatic extension by filing either of these forms.
If you were affected by winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana, you do not need to file for an extension if you plan on filing taxes by June 15. If you want to delay filing until October 15, you will need to request an extension.
Regardless of your income, you can also use Free File to electronically request an extension, which will give you until October 15, 2021, to file a return. To get an extension, you must estimate your tax liability and pay any amount due.