IRS Says “Frustrating’ Tax Filing Season Will Start on January 24
The Internal Revenue Service announced that this year’s tax season will start on Monday, January 24, 2022, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns. But with the recent surge in new Covid-19 cases, and a lack of resources at the Internal Revenue Service, Treasury officials warn taxpayers and tax preparers to get ready for a frustrating filing season.
Normally, the IRS would have fewer than 1 million items to address in the backlog entering the tax filing season. But due to complications from the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not the case this year. Treasury officials did not give an exact number for the backlog but said it was significant and several times more than 1 million.
Taxpayers generally will not need to wait for their 2020 return to be fully processed to file their 2021 tax returns and can file when they are ready.
The January 24 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to perform programming and testing that is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. Updated programming helps ensure that eligible people can claim the proper amount of the Child Tax Credit after comparing their 2021 advance credits and claim any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2021 tax return.
“Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop these past several months to prepare,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays. Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year. And we urge extra attention to those who received an Economic Impact Payment or an advance Child Tax Credit last year. People should make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays.”
The IRS encourages everyone to have all the information they need in hand to make sure they file a complete and accurate return. Having an accurate tax return can avoid processing delays, refund delays and later IRS notices. This is especially important for people who received advance Child Tax Credit payments or Economic Impact Payments (American Rescue Plan stimulus payments) in 2021; they will need the amounts of these payments when preparing their tax return.
Like last year, there will be individuals filing tax returns who, even though they are not required to file, need to file a 2021 return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit to receive the tax credit from the 2021 stimulus payments or reconcile advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. People who don’t normally file also could receive other credits.
Also keep in mind that the IRS lets you pay your tax bill with a credit card through third-party payment processors. Pay1040 for example charges a 1.87% fee which can be useful if you use a card that earns 2% cash back or more, or if you just need to get some spending done.
The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed is Monday, April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers. By law, Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia for everyone except taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022, to file their returns due to the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, October 17, 2022, to file.