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The original U.S. tax deadline (before extensions) for individuals has been historically set in stone as April 15th. If that day is over the weekend, it gets pushed to the next business day. As a reminder, the filing deadline is typically the date by which you must file tax returns, but the associated income taxes are still due on or before the deadline.

For the 2020 personal tax returns that are due in 2021, the tax authorities have communicated various changes to the original due date. These latest changes push back the original due date of April 15 either to May 17, 2021 or June 15, 2021, if you qualify for the TX, OK, LA disaster relief. The purpose of this post is to clarify due dates for our clients. We highly encourage that you please send your personal tax data in sooner rather than later and appreciate you for doing so. This way we can at least review what you have so far. Sometimes we have additional questions that you would not have anticipated. The sooner we can get open items squared away, the closer you will be to filing a return. Most importantly, the sooner you file, the sooner you will get your refund.  And in the event you have a tax amount due, you may use the additional time available to plan for and schedule the funds for payment.

2020 Tax Filing Due Dates

Type of Filing Year Ending Normal Filing and Payment Deadline IRS Automatically Extends Payment and Filing deadline with IR-2021-59 IRS Automatically Extends Payment and Filing deadline with IR-2021-43* Automatic Filing Extension (taxpayer initiated and does not relieve penalties)
Normal Everyone Relief FEMA relief (TX, OK, and LA) Normal and applies to everyone
1040 – Individual Income tax return 12/31/2020 04/15/2021 05/17/2021 06/15/2021 10/15/2021
Individual IRA contributions 12/31/2020 04/15/2021 n/a 06/15/2021 n/a
1040-ES Individual estimated payment #1 12/31/2021 04/15/2021 04/15/2021 06/15/2021 n/a
Quarterly Payroll and Excise returns 12/31/2021 04/30/2021 n/a 06/15/2021 n/a
Tax-Exempt Organizations 12/31/2020 05/17/2021 n/a 06/15/2021



709 Gift Tax return 12/31/2020 04/15/2021 n/a n/a 10/15/2021



Common tax deadline questions received from clients include:


What’s the big rush? Aren’t my 2020 taxes not due until July 15th?

This is an incorrect assumption. Note that there was an automatic extension for 2019 taxes due to COVID and it applied to everyone. The government did give people until 07/15/2020 to file an original tax return or obtain an extension until 10/15/2020. Although that deadline has passed, it is still possible to get you caught up. Also, please be aware that the July 15th deadline is not the deadline for the 2020 taxes. Your 2020 Individual tax returns are due either 5/17/2021 or 6/15/2021 depending on whether you lived in the FEMA declared disaster zones for the February storms. At Calvetti Ferguson, our approach is to treat all returns as if they are due April 15th because we know that our clients like finality with respect to their taxes. Should an extension be needed, we will need some data from you with respect to income, deductions, and payments for 2020.

If I extend, won’t I be more likely to be audited?

This is a common misconception.  I have seen no evidence that an extension of time to file increases a taxpayer’s chances of being audited. Our goal is the same as yours. We want to prepare an accurate return for you.

What should I be especially concerned with for my 2020 taxes?

Your CPA will ask you whether you received your stimulus check or card in either or both rounds. It is very important to answer those questions because you may have extra money coming your way. Some businesses had down years in 2020 and if it passes through to your personal tax return, that may include you.

Your CPA will also ask you about charitable contributions made via cash or check. Be sure to answer this question even if you do not usually itemize. There is a special deduction this year for charitable contributions.

What can I do if I have suffered a major catastrophe and cannot find my tax records?

Our CPAs are very good at reconstructing data you may think has been lost or is not recoverable. Sometimes, if data has been reported to the IRS, we can approach the IRS to help out. When data is not available, you are allowed to use a reasonable estimate. Our seasoned professionals have seen many situations that may seem daunting, but we can assist.

If you suffered a major casualty loss, the portion that is not covered by insurance can be taken on your 2020 return or your 2021 return. We can help you run the numbers both ways to get the best answer for your situation.

If you are experiencing a tax problem that is not covered here and need extra help, please reach out to your contact at the firm, or contact us. It can be difficult to make sense of all the new legislation passed in the wake of COVID-19 but we are here to help.  Check out our COVID-19 Resources page for more information.


Sources: IRS Automatically Extends Payment and Filing deadline with IR-2021-59; IRS Automatically Extends Payment and Filing deadline with IR-2021-43*

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