The Internal Revenue Service plans to extend the deadline for 2020 tax returns to May 17, according to a press release from the agency.

It’s the second time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that the agency has adjusted that deadline. Last year, 2019 tax returns were allowed to be submitted as late as July 15. The normal deadline is April 15, but the IRS said that pushing it back to mid-May this year will give taxpayers some extra breathing room.

“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. “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 quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”

The new deadline means that taxpayers will have extra time to digest those legislative changes and file their returns correctly, as well as to pay any outstanding fines. This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021.

The postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17, the IRS stated.

“April 15 seems to come too fast every year and with bad weather pummeling the country in February and recent changes to the taxability of unemployment compensation, many households could use some extra time,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

The IRS generally encourages people to file as soon as possible however, in order to get their refund sooner. So, if you’re ready to file now, don’t wait for the later deadline just because you can.

What you need to know about filing your taxes

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