Federal and state governments have extended the April 15 tax return deadlines for individuals to May 17.

The IRS and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services announced the change this week to give taxpayers more time to file during the coronavirus pandemic.

DRS made the announcement March 18, a day after the IRS announced its extension.

Last year, state and federal tax filing deadlines were extended twice due to the pandemic.

“Given the relatively late start to the federal income tax filing season and recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, which includes provisions that impact tax filing this year, [the IRS] announcement is understandable,” state tax Commissioner Mark Boughton said in a statement.

“Taxpayers do an excellent job of filing their Connecticut income tax returns accurately and on time. To further assist and support them, Connecticut will align with the extended federal deadline.”

Guidance

Connecticut officials advise residents to complete their federal tax returns first, followed by the state return.

It also recommends state taxpayers file electronically through the state’s online tax service center, which is the fastest way to get a refund.

The IRS will provide formal guidance on the extension in the coming days. 

“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,” Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

“Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds.”

Filing electronically with direct deposit is the fastest way to get a refund—and it can help some taxpayers get their stimulus check quicker, the IRS said.

Interest, Penalties

The federal extension means individual taxpayers can postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year that were due April 15 until May 17 without penalty and interest, regardless of the amount owed.

The extension applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax.

Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17.

Individuals who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request an extension until Oct. 15 by filing IRS form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software, or using the agency’s free file link.

Form 4868 gives taxpayers until Oct.15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due.

Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.

This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due April 15.