The IRS has delayed the nation's official start of tax season to Friday, February 12, 2021, which is the date the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.
Typically, the IRS begins processing tax returns in late January. However, changes to the tax law on December 27, 2020, are prompting the agency to make adjustments and perform tests on its programs and systems. The tax law changes that occurred at the end of last year provided a second round of 2020 stimulus payments and other benefits.
“Planning for the nation's filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation's most important filing seasons ever. This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible.”
While tax filers can begin preparing their returns now with tax software companies, the tax agency won't begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns until Feb. 12. The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically and use direct deposit to reduce errors and delays. Other tips from the IRS for taxpayers to speed up refunds and to get help with filing include:
- Stay up-to-date on the latest tax information by visiting IRS.gov.
- If you are eligible for stimulus payments, carefully review the guidelines for the Recovery Rebate Credit. According to the IRS, “most people received Economic Impact Payments automatically, and anyone who received the maximum amount does not need to include any information about their payments when they file. However, those who didn't receive a payment or only received a partial payment may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.”
The IRS has also posted key dates for this year's filing season. They include:
January 15. IRS Free File opens.
January 29. Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day
February 12. IRS begins 2021 tax season.
February 22. Projected date for the IRS.gov Where's My Refund tool being updated
First week of March. Tax refunds begin reaching those claiming EITC and ACTC (PATH Act returns) for those who file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns.
April 15. Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns.
October 15. Deadline to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns
Visit this IRS page directly for more information for filing and speeding up your returns in a pandemic. Business owners who are experiencing tax issues with the IRS should contact the Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier to see if we can assist with your specific tax matter.