(WGHP) – If you can’t wait to submit your 2021 tax return and get your refund, you may not have to wait much longer.
The Internal Revenue Service says tax season will officially begin on Monday. IRS Free File, which allows taxpayers who have earned $73,000 or less to file electronically for free, began accepting tax returns on Jan. 14 and will hold them until the IRS is ready to accept returns early of the season.
The deadline for most registrants is April 18. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until October 17.
Although not everyone is required to file a tax return, some may want to do so anyway to claim credits such as the Recovery Rebate Credit or the Child Tax Credit.
- 1099 forms from banks, issuing agencies and other payers, including Unemployment benefits, dividends, the distributions of a pension, annuity or retirement plan
- Form 1099-K, 1099-MISCELLANEOUS, W-2 or other income statement if you worked in the gig economy
- Form 1099-INT if you were paid interest
- Other income documents and records of virtual currency transactions
- Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, at reconcile advance premium tax credits for market coverage
- Letter 6419, Total child tax credit advance payments for 2021 to reconcile your child tax credit advance payments
- Letter 6475, Your 2021 Economic Impact Payment, to determine if you are eligible for Claim recovery rebate credit
When will I receive my refund?
Most taxpayers should see their refund within 21 days of filing, as long as the return is filed electronically without issue and the taxpayer selects direct deposit. This means that if you file your return on Monday, you will likely receive your refund by Valentine’s Day, February 14. The IRS even has an online tool for you to check the status of your refund.
Last year, the average tax refund was over $2,800, according to the IRS. It’s not yet clear what the average might be this year, as the agency prepares more than 160 tax returns this season.
If your refund involves the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Supplemental Child Tax Credit, the IRS legally cannot send you a refund until mid-February. This is to give the IRS time to weed out any fraudulent refunds.
Your refund may take longer if your return must be manually reviewed. This happens when the IRS system detects a possible error or missing information or if there is reason to suspect identity theft or fraud.
How serious can a delay be? Well, the IRS is still working to process some tax returns from previous years. This backlog, however, does not include any individual 2020 paper and electronic refund returns that were filed without error and received before April 2021. And even if your 2020 tax return is still in IRS purgatory, you generally don’t have to wait to process before you file your 2021 tax return.
What should I do for the child tax credit?
If you got your Child Advance Tax Credit, you can get the second half of your credit by filing your 2021 tax return. If you didn’t get the credit, but should have gotten it, you can claim the full credit on your tax return.
When you deposit, you will need to know the details of the CTC payments you have received. You can find this information on the CTC Update Portal. Beginning in late December and continuing through January, the IRS is also mailing hard copies of Letter 6419, Child Advance Tax Credit 2021, which includes important information that can help you ensure that your statement is correct.
Can I still get my third stimulus check?
The third round of economic impact payments was an advance payment of the 2021 tax year recovery rebate credit. This means the IRS will use your tax return to make sure you got what you got. should have gotten.
As a reminder, this payment was $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for married couples filing jointly, plus an additional $1,400 for each eligible dependent. To qualify, you must be a US citizen or US resident alien with a valid Social Security number. The payment amount was reduced for anyone with an adjusted gross income over $75,000, a head of household earning $112,000, or married or joint filers earning $150,000. You would not be entitled to one of the payments if you were a person with an adjusted gross income of more than $80,000, a head of household earning $120,000, or married or joint filers earning $160,000.
Most people have already received their stimulus payments, but there are steps to claim it in case you haven’t received yours.
To determine if you are eligible to claim the Salvage rebate credit for missing stimulus payments, you’ll want to check your economic impact payment details in your IRS online account or wait for a hard copy of letter 6475, Your Third Economic Impact Payment. The IRS plans to begin mailing the 6475 letter in late January.
If you qualify, file a 2021 tax return to claim your remaining stimulus amount.
I need help!
If you need help filing, the IRS asks everyone to check out online resources before calling. From January 1 to May 17, 2021, the IRS received more than 145 million calls, quadruple the number of calls the agency receives in a normal year.
“Our phone volumes continue to remain at record highs,” Rettig said. “We urge people to visit IRS.gov and create an online account to help them access information faster. We have invested in developing new online capabilities to make it a quick and easy way for taxpayers to get the information they need.
More information is available at IRS.gov, and you can find free help via Voluntary tax assistance and tax advice for seniors.
Filing Season Key Dates
The IRS has released a list of important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year’s filing season:
- January 14: The IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can start filing through IRS Free File partners; tax returns will be submitted to the IRS beginning January 24. Tax software companies also accept tax returns in advance.
- January 18: Due date for the estimated tax payment of the fourth quarter of the tax year 2021.
- January 24: IRS Begins 2022 Tax Season. 2021 Individual Tax Returns Begin Acceptance and Processing Begins
- January 28: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of the valuable tax credits available to many people, including the ability to use previous year’s income to qualify.
- April 18: Due date to file the 2021 tax return or request an extension and pay taxes due due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC, even for those living outside the area.
- April 19: Due date to file the 2021 tax return or request an extension and pay taxes owed for those living in MA or ME due to the Patriots Day holiday
- October 17: Filing deadline for those requesting an extension of their 2021 tax returns
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