WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR/NEWS10) — The Internal Revenue Service will delay the April 15 tax deadline until May 17, according to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service. The IRS said they will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan included stimulus checks, changes to the child tax credit, and exemptions for people who received unemployment in 2020. Due to those changes, many experts believed the IRS would have to delay the filing deadline.

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”

This would be the second consecutive year the IRS has delayed the federal tax filing deadline. Last February, the deadline to file and pay 2019 federal income taxes was extended to July 15.

Individuals can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15 to May 17 without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This applies to individuals, including those who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accumulate on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17. The IRS says individuals will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

Taxpayers who have provided bank information with the IRS will receive their stimulus check via direct deposit, while others will get paper checks or debit cards mailed to them. “The payments will be delivered automatically to taxpayers even as the IRS continues delivering regular tax refunds,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

Officials said that in the interest of speeding up the relief payments, the IRS will use the latest tax return available, either the 2019 return filed last year or the 2020 return.

If a person’s job situation changed last year because of the pandemic—which led to millions of people losing jobs or being forced to work reduced hours—officials said that the IRS will adjust the size of the new impact payments after the 2020 return has been filed and provide a supplemental payment if that is called for. Officials said those adjustments will be made automatically by the IRS for people who have already filed their 2020 returns.

Officials said they wanted to handle the payments this way rather than waiting for the 2020 tax return to be filed in the interest of speeding payments to taxpayers.

The federal tax filing deadline postponement only applies to individual federal income returns and tax payments (including tax on self-employment income), not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax.