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Tax Day: Here's what you need to know to avoid deadline penalties

The federal income tax deadline has been extended to May 17, 2021, for individual filing.

WASHINGTON — Tax Day usually falls on April 15. It's also the day some individuals procrastinate to get their taxes done. But, there is a little relief this year because of the ongoing pandemic. We got an extension. However, the rules are different state by state and when it comes to your federal tax returns.

The federal deadline for individual filing and payments has been extended until May 17, 2021, but if you make estimated tax payments, those payments are still due Thursday, April 15, 2021. 

The good news is we’re seeing extensions across the DMV for state taxes.

“For Virginia, the actual deadline is now May 17, 2021, to file, and to pay. However, if you owe money, it has to be paid by May 17 To avoid any penalties,” Robert Waller, a CPA, said.

Military members stationed outside the United States or Puerto Rico on May 1, have until July 1 to file their return and pay any taxes they owe.

D.C.’s extensions are similar to Virginia’s. 

“In D.C., the deadline is also extended until May 17, 2021. That is to file, and to pay your taxes like Virginia, the same thing. And that covers all D.C. income taxes, whether it be your D20 or D30, D40 whatever you had to file for income tax. It has to be filed by May 17 and paid,” Waller added.

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Maryland State Comptroller, Peter Franchot has given a longer extension.

“I have given forbearance for 90 days. I've turned April 15, I've turned it into July 15. That's 90 days we're penalty-free, interest-free, no application necessary. No Maryland company or individual needs to send me the tax money that they owe us,” Franchot said.

Maryland has new tax forms that could impact your return if you’ve received Maryland State Unemployment. And if you’ve already filed, you may need to file an amendment.

"If for example, you are one of the 1.7 million tax returns, who have already processed, you know you had some unemployment income, and you had to pay a tax on that because the old forms were not updated, you're going to have to file an amended return to get your, what we call a subtraction, which is being able to deduct the unemployment payments to you and not pay a state tax,” Franchot added.

On the IRS website, it shows the federal deadline to file and pay has been pushed back to May 17, 2021. But if you make estimated payments, April 15, 2021, is still Tax Day to avoid penalty. 

“If you owe, it has to be paid by April 15, otherwise it would be a late payment penalty for the federal government,” Waller said.

No matter where you live, or if you’re filing your state or federal taxes, the biggest concern is how you file. Everyone is encouraged to e-file. Both Waller and Franchot said mailing in your taxes could take longer due to the delays we’ve been seeing with the postal service.

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