The deadline to file and pay your state and federal taxes was extended from April 15 to May 17 because of the pandemic.
Even though the state and federal government extended the deadline, you could be charged interest on your state income tax for waiting.
Sen. Arthur Orr says he plans to file a bill Tuesday morning. It would allow the Alabama Department of Revenue to waive any interest that might accrue if you don't pay your state income tax by April 15.
"I think it would help a lot, especially in a pandemic," Cody Smallwood said.
Cody and Allyson Smallwood have already filed their taxes for the year, but they believe Sen. Arthur Orr's bill would help many who haven't.
"Interest can build up pretty fast, and it can be financially crippling for a lot of people," Smallwood said.
Orr's bill would do two things. First, it would permanently tie Alabama's filing date with the federal government. That means if the IRS extends its tax filing deadline, Alabama's would automatically change, too, instead of having to track two tax filing days.
"That would be terribly confusing for Alabama taxpayers, so we need to stick and stay consistent with the federal government when it comes to tax filing dates," Orr said.
The bill would also allow the Alabama Department of Revenue to waive any interest accrued after April 15. The agency says it can waive late penalties for payments made by May 17, but it's not authorized to waive any interest that may add up. For that to happen, legislation must pass.
"If the state is good enough to extend the tax filing deadline, then we don't need to turn around and create a lot of headaches needlessly for the tax payers or the state in trying to collect the interest," Orr said. "We just need to get it legal and on the books that no interest would be charged."
Orr says he's confident the bill will pass.
"I think it will sail through, and I think it sail through before April 15," Orr said.
The Smallwood family says they hope it does.
"Being able to cancel that interest can help a lot of people not get worse in debt," Smallwood said.
Orr says the interest would be an unnecessary headache for the state and taxpayers over a few dollars and cents.
At this time, it's still unclear how much interest one could face if the bill does not pass. We reached out to the Alabama Department of Revenue to find out the exact amount, but have not heard back at this time.