Still need to file your taxes? We’ve got good news for you—and answers to a lot of your questions

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  • The federal tax deadline has been extended to May 17, 2021
  • If you haven’t yet received some of your stimulus checks but believe you qualify, be sure to file for the Recovery Rebate Credit
  • Find out how to get your refund even faster (and keep more of your own money)

Tax deadline has been extended to May 17

For the second year in a row, April 15 has lost its Tax Day title. The IRS has officially extended the tax filing deadline to May 17, 2021.

“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

According to the IRS announcement, this postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including those who are self-employed or gig workers. However, to avoid any penalties, you must pay what you owe by May 17, 2021.

Should you pay your taxes with a credit card? 

Generally, we wouldn’t recommend using your credit card to pay your taxes, since you’ll likely end up paying more money than you owe with the processing costs, finance charges, and potential interest rates. 

However, if you are in a bind and can’t afford to pay cash by the deadline, paying with a credit card is an option to help prevent you from accruing penalty fees. It also gives you a way to pay off what you owe in smaller amounts monthly rather than in one lump sum. 

If you are using a credit card with significant rewards benefits that might exceed the processing fees, like travel perks or miles, then this could be a lucrative option. But for the majority of consumers, it may be difficult to offset the processing costs and finance charges when paying by credit card.

What is the best way to get your refund, if you qualify for one? 

There are now multiple ways to receive your refund—direct deposit, check in the mail, debit card just to name a few. Ultimately, you should do what’s best for your personal situation, but with direct deposit, you can get the money much faster. And as we saw with the recent stimulus check process, keep in mind that this is how the IRS will pay you until you file the next year. 

Will you get taxed on the stimulus checks? 

The stimulus checks are not counted as income, so you won’t be taxed on those if you received one or both in 2020. They’re actually considered an advance on a tax credit, known as the Recovery Rebate Credit.

What if you didn’t get a stimulus check but you qualified for one? 

If you believe you qualify for one or both of the first two stimulus checks but didn’t receive them, you can claim these funds when you file your 2020 taxes. When you file, you will need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on it. Even if you wouldn’t normally file a tax return, you would need to for 2020 in order to receive the stimulus payments you believe you’re owed. 

What about unemployment? 

In most cases, unemployment is taxable because it was considered income. This also includes the extra $600 that was provided through the CARES Act. Some states did not automatically withhold taxes from these benefits and others don’t charge state taxes at all, so it’s important to check to see where you stand. Here is a helpful state-by-state guide to help you determine next steps on your taxes. 

Get your money even faster (and keep more of it!)

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, the good news is that you have some time. And the better news is that you can get your tax refund (and any future stimulus checks!) even faster when you sign up for direct deposit into your Sesame Cash account. 

With Credit Sesame, you could get your tax refund faster than other big banks. In fact, during the last round of stimulus checks, some of our customers received their money up to five days sooner than those who had direct deposit with the big banks. That means you can start to pay bills and pay for necessities even sooner. 

When filing your 2020 taxes you’ll have the option to register for direct deposit to get your tax refund and future stimulus checks even faster! Simply connect your no-fee Sesame Cash account to make sure you get your money quickly—up to two days sooner(1)—with no waiting for paper checks or worrying about depositing them! 

A no-fee Sesame Cash account means you also keep more of your money for what matters most. When you do spend on qualifying purchases, you’ll save with instant cash back offers to help make every dollar count (2). It’s a win-win! 

Finding your direct deposit information is easy. Simply log into the Credit Sesame app, hit the Cash ($) tab, then settings, and “direct deposit.”


1 Direct deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.
2 Cash back offers are powered by Empyr, Inc. Cash back requires the activation of any active offer before payment is made. Payment must be processed as a credit transaction and made before the offer expires. Offers vary by geographic location and are subject to change. Please review the full program terms for more details.

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