The IRS has opened tax season, but don’t rush to file: Here’s why experts say you may want to wait.
On Monday, January 24, the IRS began accepting and processing tax returns for the 2021 tax year. The tax return deadline is April 18, and the filing deadline was extended last year, but the IRS currently has no plans to postpone that date. Three-quarters of all Americans get their annual tax refund from the IRS, often the most extensive family check of the year. But with the start of this tax season, taxpayers will see a repeat of last year’s handling problems. Nearly 30 million taxpayers have delayed filing and returning their IRS tax returns.
The unprecedented processing and refund delays experienced by taxpayers in 2021 will be exacerbated in 2022 as well, and in some cases, even worse. Pandemic mitigation and new tax cuts are expected to put more pressure on the IRS this year. Avoiding paper tax filings with direct filings is more critical than ever this year and will help move things forward.
Technically you can start filing your tax returns, but it’s a good idea to wait.
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Why you might want to wait before filing your taxes
The IRS advises that you will not be able to make a refund that includes an earned income tax credit (EITC) or child tax credit by mid-February; this means that if you file your tax return as soon as possible on January 24, you may not be able to get a refund within 21 days if your tax return contains any of these tax credits. The IRS has informed those claiming these credits that they will likely receive a refund in early March, assuming they filed their returns on or shortly before January 24.
This reason is related to the 2015 law that delays the refunds of those claiming these credits, designed as a means to combat fraudsters who rely on the theft of personal information to receive taxpayer refunds.
Another thing that can cause a delay in your refunds is submitting all required forms before they are received will exacerbate the IRS’s problems as they have to file a revised report and are another matter that the IRS has to deal with.
Why is there a delay in getting tax refunds
The IRS states that most refunds will be sent within 21 days, but experts point out that authorities are still working on tax returns in 2020 and warn that delays may occur.
In 2020, the IRS processed more than 240 million tax returns and provided approximately $ 736 billion; this includes $ 268 billion in federal stimulus payments. About 60 million people called or visited the IRS office during that period.
How can you get an early tax refund?
At the same time, tax experts say there are several steps taxpayers can take to ensure fast tax returns, which is even more critical this year, given the IRS is starting to lag. Ensuring easy tax submitting comes with loads at the line because the expected refund final 12 months turned into $2,800. Below are hints from tax specialists and the IRS on the way to getting a tax refund within 21 days of submitting.
Double-check your returns
Experts say that one of the easiest ways to avoid refund delays is double-checking your returns. Half of the problems arise because taxpayers do not provide accurate information.
While some people may enjoy filing and others may not have a choice, the agency says taxpayers who file electronically are more likely to process their returns faster. The IRS relies on computers to process submitted reports electronically, whereas paper reports have to be processed by humans. At the pandemic, the IRS closed offices, and employees stopped opening the mail, delaying paper declaration processing. Aside from staff tensions due to the pandemic, the IRS workforce has not kept pace with population growth.
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Getting flagged for identity theft
Another issue that can delay tax returns is identity theft reporting. According to Taxpayer Protection Services, in 2020, the IRS reported suspended 5.2 million fraudulent refunds and 1.9 million for identification purposes. However, one can avoid long delays by providing the IRS with up-to-date contact information. After receiving the letter, you can verify your identity online by calling the number provided or visiting your local IRS office.
Get a refund via DD
The IRS also encourages taxpayers to get their refunds through direct deposit. The agency says the fastest way to get money is to use a combination of electronic filing and direct deposit, which sends money to your bank account.