Members of Congress request estimated tax deadline postponement

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on Wednesday, a diverse, bipartisan group of 60 members of Congress urged the IRS to extend the deadline for first quarter 2021 federal estimated tax payments to May 17. The estimated tax deadline has been an issue since the IRS postponed the tax filing and payment deadline for individuals to May 17 but did not move the April 15 estimated tax deadline (see Notice 2021-21).

The members of Congress pointed to several pandemic-related issues that are causing hardships for individuals and small businesses: state and local government restrictions, mandated closures, and changes in people’s behavior because of pandemic-related health guidelines. The letter notes that small businesses have seen revenue declines and loss of access to markets and in many cases have had to lay off employees to avoid bankruptcy — all of which can affect tax liability and therefore make estimating this year’s tax liability difficult.

To solve these problems, the members of Congress urge the IRS commissioner to use his emergency authority to extend the first quarter federal estimated tax payment deadline to May 17, 2021.

The letter echoes statements made by the AICPA and the National Association of Enrolled Agents in a recent letter to the IRS and Treasury in which the organizations requested a postponement until May 17 of all federal tax and information returns and payments, including estimated tax payments. The AICPA continues to advocate for the extension of the first quarter estimated payment deadline as a critical priority.

For more on the issues with the May 17 deadline postponement, listen to the JofA podcast episode, “Why The Tax Filing Extension Does Not Help Everyone.”

Alistair M. Nevius, J.D., (Alistair.Nevius@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editor-in-chief, tax.

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