IRS extends tax filing deadline to May 17

Some free tax preparation services are falling behind with the heavy demand.

You now have more time to get your federal taxes done.

ROANOKE, Va. – After a push from lawmakers, the Internal Revenue Service is giving people an extra month to file their taxes.

April 15 was the original date looming over people’s heads to file their taxes on time.

On Tuesday, more than 100 lawmakers, including four representatives from Virginia, signed a letter asking the IRS to extend the deadline to July 15.

Virginia Tech Economics Instructor Mark Liu said the request is reasonable.

“In times of crises, where people can use a little slack, give them some slack,” he said.

In January, the IRS pushed the start of the tax season to February 12 to give them some time to process the December COVID-19 relief bill.

With the IRS handling a third-round of stimulus checks and fewer tax service aides available because of the coronavirus pandemic, agencies are feeling the pressure.

Every year, Total Action for Progress (TAP) offers free tax filing services.

With 400 people on the waiting list as of Wednesday morning, they are more backed-up than ever.

“It’s very difficult to keep up with the demand and the volume,” TAP Assistant Director of Financial Services Teffany Henderson. “It’s just ridiculous at this point so it’s extremely hard.”

Normally, three part-time volunteers end up helping about 1,000 people at the free TAP tax clinic, but with social distancing measures and covid safety precautions in place, the process has slowed down.

Henderson said volunteers are needed to not only help with tax preparation but to also screen individuals as they come in for their appointment.

With an extension, it offers another opportunity for people to sign up with TAP to volunteer.

Though some people have already filed their taxes, others admittedly are waiting to the last minute.

Some locals in Roanoke County say extending the timeline could lead to more procrastination, but others say it would be very beneficial.

“Seems to be a scramble for me to get all of my records together in a normal year,” Todd Leeson, a Salem resident. “With a pandemic still hanging over our heads, I would love to get some more time.”

To meet in the middle, the IRS set the new deadline date for May 17.

But more than 150 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year and with the new deadline, tax refund checks may not arrive until 6 to 8 weeks after filing.

About the Author:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.