Buried under stimulus check distribution and two years' worth of unprocessed tax returned, the IRS will delay the tax filing deadline to mid-May. It’s the second consecutive year the IRS has moved the filing date.

The IRS still had millions of 2019 tax returns unprocessed when 2020 ended. The COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted work schedules and complicated the tax process.

At one point, the backlog was so large the IRS had to store it in trailers.

“There is so much mail that the Post Office can't hold it," said Sunita Lough, deputy commissioner for services and enforcement. "So we are literally holding it in trailers until our employees can get back.”

Now, with President Biden’s stimulus package passed, the IRS finds itself facing even greater challenges. It’s sent out only 90 million of 150 million stimulus checks, as well as upping the amount of unemployment assistance people can deduct. 

While a path is yet to be confirmed, experts suspect those affected by the unemployment change will have to file amended returns. 

President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package will extend relief measures aimed at the Covid-19 pandemic while also changing tax regulations to lower child poverty President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package will extend relief measures aimed at the Covid-19 pandemic while also changing tax regulations to lower child poverty Photo: AFP / OLIVIER DOULIERY

All that, along with pressure from lawmakers concerned that citizens needed more time to figure out pandemic finances, has convinced the IRS to move the deadline back. 

Meanwhile, the federal government moving the deadline doesn’t guarantee states will follow suit. As of yet, only Maryland has moved its filing deadline, delaying it to July 15. Taxpayers will have to watch their own state to see whether they can also delay filing state tax returns.