Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.
Director of Public Policy
February 23, 2021
IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig on February 23 told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the IRS has no plans to generally extend the 2021 tax filing season. Additionally, Rettig informed lawmakers that the IRS is still processing about 6 million 2019 tax returns.
“We have no present plans to extend the filing season,” Rettig said during Tuesday’s House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing. Rettig stated that extending the filing season creates confusion for taxpayers while "backing up" the IRS. However, he acknowledged the many calls among tax practitioners for an extension. "We have our eyes on it…we're aware of it. We're aware of people who are asking for it," Rettig said.
Rettig’s testimony regarding the IRS’s plans to move forward with an April 15 filing and payment deadline comes on the heels of a February 18 letter sent to him by several House Ways and Means Committee Democrats, spearheaded by House Oversight Subcommittee Chair Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., in which Rettig was asked to extend the filling season beyond April 15. In the letter, lawmakers voiced their concerns with the IRS moving forward with a shortened filing season coupled with the IRS’s backlog of processing 2019 tax returns as well as remaining pandemic-related challenges.
Further, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Pascrell sent a February 19 letter to Rettig urging the IRS to pause sending collection notices to taxpayers who may be impacted by the IRS backlogs. “The IRS should not resume sending notices to taxpayers until all 2019 tax returns have been processed, the IRS’s backlog has been reduced to pre-pandemic levels, and taxpayer accounts have been updated,” Neal and Pascrell wrote.
The IRS did, however, announce on February 22 that it is extending this year's tax-filing and payment deadline to June 15 for individuals and certain businesses affected by the severe weather in Texas. This relief includes various 2020 business tax returns due on March 15 and 2020 individual and business returns due on April 15. Additionally, taxpayers have until June 15 to make 2020 IRA contributions.
NSA recognizes that its members have varying opinions in regard to extending the 2021 tax filing season, and with that understanding will continue to monitor developments and provide members with prompt updates.