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Tax return deadline looms – next month

April 15 has long loomed as a deadline for filing tax returns for both the IRS and Missouri. But this year, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has prompted both Washington and Jefferson City to give taxpayers an extra month. This year, the deadline is May 17.

The decision wasn’t made purely out of the goodness of officials’ hearts: The Internal Revenue Service and states’ departments of revenue, just like taxpayers, are wrestling with complications and delays caused by the pandemic.

Once the U.S. government decided in March to extended the IRS deadline, Gov. Mike Parson did the same for Missouri.

Parson explained in a statement last month: “As our state continues recovering from COVID-19, we understand that many Missourians are still feeling the effects of the past year. Extending the filing and payment deadline by one month will provide additional relief to Missouri families and tax professionals as they work to meet their obligations during what has already been a challenging tax season.”  

His statement followed one by IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in which Rettig said, “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.”

Taxpayers who owe money will not face any further penalties or interest if they pay by May 17. The new deadline also applies to individuals who pay self-employment tax.

Taxpayers who need more time beyond May 17 can request an extension until October 15.

The new deadline does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15; those remain due by that day.

The IRS continues to urge people, particularly those who are owed refunds, to file as soon as possible. In some cases filing will help taxpayers more quickly get any remaining relief payments they are entitled to.

Here’s a rundown on the new rules this tax season:

  • The deadline to file individual income tax returns is now May 17.
  • The deadline to pay taxes owed on individual income tax returns is now May 17.
  • This relief applies to individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax. But any estimated tax payments due on April 15 are still due then.
  • Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17.
  • Taxpayers can get an extension of time to file, until October 15, but payments must still be made by May 17.

“With a delayed start and recent tax code changes, this tax season is a particularly complicated one,” Director of Revenue Ken Zellers said. “For Missourians who have yet to file, we strongly encourage you to file electronically and use direct deposit, as it will result in the most accurate return and the fastest refund.”

Department of Revenue online services and resources:

  • The Department’s Tax Return Status Tracker lets people enroll in automatic text and email alerts. Customers need their Social Security number, filing status, and anticipated refund or balance due to enroll and must re-enroll each year.
  • Get answers 24/7 by reviewing the Personal Tax FAQs
  • Email questions to

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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