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California Tax Deadline Extended; Federal Date Also Pushed

Patch logo Patch 3/22/2021 Kat Schuster
a bird perched on top of a tower: Tax filing season will look a bit different this year in the wake of a pandemic that severely upended life in California last year. Many worked from home, received relief payments, filed for unemployment or even took on some gig work. © Getty Images Tax filing season will look a bit different this year in the wake of a pandemic that severely upended life in California last year. Many worked from home, received relief payments, filed for unemployment or even took on some gig work.

CALIFORNIA — For the second time in the coronavirus pandemic, California residents will get an extra month to file their federal and state income tax returns.

The federal government announced that it will extend the 2020 tax filing due date from April 15 to May 17. The Golden State did the same for state income tax filing.

But both the Internal Revenue Service and the state tax agency said the extension will not apply to those making quarterly estimated tax payments on 2021 income that isn't subject to tax withholding. First-quarter payments will still be due April 15.

Tax filing season will look a lot different this year in the wake of a pandemic that severely upended life in California last year. Many worked from home, received relief payments, filed for unemployment or even took on some gig work. The IRS began accepting returns on Feb. 12.

"This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a news release.

Regardless of the new deadline, IRS officials are still urging taxpayers to file as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds or stimulus payments.

"Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to," Rettig said.

Here's what else the IRS said taxpayers need to know about the extended deadline:

  • Taxpayers can postpone federal 2020 income tax payments that would be due April 15 to May 17 without any penalties or interest, regardless of the amount owed.
  • The postponement is for individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax.
  • Penalties or interest in unpaid balances will begin to accrue May 17.
  • Taxes paid by May 17 will automatically avoid interests and penalties.
  • Taxpayers will automatically qualify for this relief and don't need to file any forms.

Anyone who needs an extension beyond May 17 can file to request an extension until Oct. 15, but any taxes due would still need to be paid by May 17.

What's more, those in California who are eligible to receive a $600 Golden State Stimulus payment will receive that check after filing their 2020 tax returns this year. Now, residents will have another month to file their taxes.

The $600 checks are part of a coronavirus relief package approved by the state Legislature in late February.

Generally, those who are eligible are Californians who have an annual income of $30,000 or less. Those who have individual tax identification numbers and make $75,000 a year or less will also qualify. Many such payments will go to people living in the country without documentation.

READ MORE: $600 CA Stimulus Checks OK'd For 5.7 Million. Do You Qualify?

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