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Federal Deadline Extension And Unemployment Tax Break Among Issues For Tax Filers For 2020 Returns

The federal deadline to file your taxes has been extended to May 17. [RomanR/Shutterstock]
The federal deadline to file your taxes has been extended to May 17. [RomanR/Shutterstock]

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic and we are still trying to get back to the way life was before the emergence of the coronavirus.  On the public health front, the efforts have focused first on masking and social distancing and now the distribution of vaccines to more people in order to knock out the virus’ ability to spread.  On the economic front, there have been three rounds of stimulus passed at the federal level to help American workers and businesses financially strapped by the pandemic.

The most recently passed was the American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA

We are now in the middle of tax season; and the financial upheaval created by the pandemic and the various bills passed to help might make filing returns a bit more involved for some.

Federal taxpayers, however, will have more time to file their returns.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has already extended the tax filing season to May 17.

This gives more time for some elements contained in the newly passed American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA to be worked out.

The Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit will be further impacted in 2021 under terms passed in the American Rescue Plan and potentially provide substantial tax savings for low- and moderate-income individuals and families.

While we continue to inch toward a benchmark to drop pandemic health orders, Ohio passed a major milestone this week.  On Monday, the number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio passed the one million mark.

The milestone comes as vaccines are being distributed to more Ohioans and as the governor says we race against the number of COVID-19 variants spreading in the state.

We also reach the milestone as the political struggle between the governor and his party reaches another turning point.  The governor has vetoed a bill aimed at limiting his power during the pandemic and he’s asking lawmakers not to override it.

Also on the statehouse front, the delay in the release of the 2020 Census data could have an impact on Ohio’s ability to redraw its congressional district maps.  The process is the first since voters approved changes to the way the maps are drawn.  Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is suing to get the data by the end of this month.  The Census Bureau says the request is an impossible one to meet.

Deborah Geier, Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University  
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV  

Leigh Barr is a producer for Ideastream Public Media's the “Sound of Ideas” and the “Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable.”