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Tax Filing Season Opened January 24

In IR–2022–18 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it has opened tax filing season for this year. The IRS reminds taxpayers you should use best practices to file an accurate return and receive a prompt tax refund.

The IRS expects to process 2021 tax returns for 160 million individuals. Most will file before the April 18 tax deadline. An exception exists for taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine, who celebrate the Patriots Day holiday and may file on April 19.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated, "IRS employees are working hard to deliver a successful 2022 tax season while facing enormous challenges related to the pandemic. There are important steps people can take to ensure they avoid processing delays and get their tax refund as quickly as possible. We urge people to carefully review their taxes for accuracy before filing. And they should file electronically with direct deposit if at all possible. Filing a paper tax return this year means an extended refund delay."

Taxpayers who file electronically will normally receive a refund within 21 days. The average direct deposit refund last year was $2,800.

Rettig continued, "IRS employees will do everything possible within the available resources to serve taxpayers this year. We will work hard to deliver refunds quickly, serve as many people as possible and work to catch up on past tax returns affected by the pandemic."

The IRS offers multiple tips for a smooth filing season.
  1. e–Filing — You should file electronically and select direct deposit. Paper tax returns will lead to extended delays in issuing refunds.
  2. Accurate Tax Return — You should assemble your records and use online or electronic software to prepare an accurate return. Errors in your tax return may lead to a processing delay and could cause your refund to be delayed for an extended period of time.
  3. Economic Impact Payment (EIP) or Child Tax Credit (CTC) — If you have received a third EIP or an advance CTC in 2021, you will need records to ensure that you enter the correct amounts. If you make an error in these amounts, your refund may be substantially delayed.
  4. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credits (ACTC) — The IRS is prohibited from issuing a refund for EITC or ACTC until the middle of February. This delay is part of the effort by the IRS to stop fraudulent refunds.
  5. Online Help Resources — The quickest and easiest option for help is irs.gov. There continue to be lengthy delays on IRS phone lines. You may also wish to create an Online Account on irs.gov. This account enhances your access to online tax assistance.
  6. Non–Filers Tool — If you do not usually file a return and qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit, the Advance Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit, you should file a 2021 tax return to receive all of your available benefits.
  7. Online Free Help — The irs.gov website includes the Interactive Tax Assistant. This help is available 24 hours per day.
  8. Delayed 2020 Tax Return — Individuals whose 2020 tax returns have not yet been processed should still file the 2021 return. If you have not had your return processed for 2020, on the electronic tax software enter zero dollars for your 2021 adjusted gross income (AGI).

Published January 28, 2022

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