I hope this email finds you well.
I wanted to provide a few updates regarding the opening of tax season. A couple things are different this year as a result of the additional tax relief provided throughout the year for many families.
Tax Season Begins
Beginning today, Monday, January 24, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns.
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. The IRS is mailing special letters to recipients, and they can also check amounts received on IRS.gov.
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.
Child Tax Credit Payments
In 2021, many families received extra funds in advance through monthly Child Tax Credits (CTC). The IRS started sending letters in December and January regarding the 2021 advance CTC. This letter 6419 contains important information that can help ensure your 2021 return is accurate. Using this information when preparing a tax return electronically can reduce errors and avoid delays in processing.
According to IRS, most eligible individuals already received their EIP payments (payments provided by Congress as part of COVID relief laws). However, individuals who are missing stimulus payments should review their information to determine eligibility and whether they need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for tax year 2020 or 2021.
To find the amount of your economic impact payments, create or view your online account or refer to IRS Notice 1444 (A, B or C), which was mailed by IRS after sending the payment. In early 2022, IRS will send Letter 6475 confirming the total amount of the third Economic Impact Payment.
Key information to help taxpayers
- The IRS encourages people to use online resources before calling. In addition to IRS.gov, the IRS has a variety of other free options available to help taxpayers, ranging from free assistance at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly locations across the country to the availability of the IRS Free File program.
- Overall, the IRS anticipates most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically if they choose direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax return.
- To speed refunds, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit information as soon as they have everything they need to file an accurate return. If the return includes errors or is incomplete, it may require further review that may slow the tax refund. Having all information available when preparing the 2021 tax return can reduce errors and avoid delays in processing.
- For the latest IRS forms and instructions, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/forms.
Free File available January 14
IRS Free File opened January 14 when participating providers will accept completed returns and hold them until they can be filed electronically with the IRS.
The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically to minimize errors and for faster refunds – as well having all the information they need to file an accurate return to avoid delays. The IRS’s Free File program allows taxpayers who made $73,000 or less in 2021 to file their taxes electronically for free using software provided by commercial tax filing companies.
In addition to IRS Free File, the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.
Tips to make filing easier
To avoid processing delays and speed refunds, the IRS urges people to follow these steps:
- Organize and gather 2021 tax records including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and this year’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers valid for calendar year 2022.
- Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on reconciling advance payments of the Child Tax Credit or claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus payments. There is no need to call.
- Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers. Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool.
- File a complete and accurate return electronically when ready and choose direct deposit for the quickest refund.
- For more tips and resources, check out the Get Ready page on IRS.gov.
Awaiting processing of previous tax returns? People can still file 2021 returns
The IRS continues to reduce the inventory of prior-year individual tax returns that have not been fully processed. All paper and electronic individual 2020 refund returns received prior to April 2021 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review.
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.
If you still have not received a 2020 tax return, visit Where’s My Refund? for the status of your refund. Additionally, create or view your online account to securely access more information about your individual account.
Key filing season dates
There are several important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year’s filing season:
- January 14: IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through IRS Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting January 24. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
- January 24: IRS begins 2022 tax season. Individual 2021 tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins
- April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension
- October 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns
As always, it is a privilege to serve the constituents of the 3rd Congressional District of Arizona. If you or someone you know needs assistance with a federal agency, please reach out to my office at 520-622-6788 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member of Congress