Even though the deadline had been extended, there are still things you need to understand.By John Shumway

By: John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It is April 15th but that carries a different meaning in this COVID-mangled year.

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The Internal Revenue Service pushed back the filing deadline for taxes to May 17th.

However, Michael Herzog, J.D., the tax expert for Eckert Seamans says that’s only for 2020 taxes.

“In the event that there are estimated tax payments that have to be made for 2021, they have to be made by April 15. So even though the IRS extended the filing deadline for the 2020 tax return, that’s going out to May 17, but people still have to remember that first-quarter estimated tax payments still must be made and filed by April 15,” he said.

As for your state taxes…

“Pennsylvania has followed the federal lead,” Herzog explained. “So for Pennsylvania purposes. May 17 is also going to be the due date to file your 2020 personal income tax return, and also to make any payments with respect to 2020.”

Ohio and West Virginia have also extended their filing deadline to May 17.

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But it gets a bit more complicated when it comes to filing your local tax return.

“It’s really going to be determinative on where you live and you’re going to want to be absolutely certain to check whether the April 15 deadline is still hard and fast for local municipalities,” Herzog said.

In some cases, municipalities set their own rules, others use tax collection agencies.

“The caveat here is you have to be really careful with the local Earned income tax situation because some of the local collectors have indicated on their websites that there is no change in the local tax filing deadline, so, therefore, their position is everything is due April 15,” he said.

Keystone which represents a large portion of our region announced just yesterday it was pushing the local tax deadline to May 17, but that is just Keystone.

“Some of the other smaller municipalities might not have a local collector per se,” he said. “So that might be a little bit different and that’s why you’re running into some differences with these dates so it’s just really be careful with respect to your locals.”

Part of the issue is the legislature took steps to delay the filing deadline of local taxes last year but the bill to do it this year is stalled in the Pennsylvania Senate.

The tax experts are hearing about it.

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“Our phones are lighting up getting a lot of emails, there’s a lot of unhappy folks from the standpoint that the governments have seemed to make a real mess of these various filing deadlines,” he said.