On January 15, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation's tax season will start on Friday, February 12, 2021. That's when they will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns. The February 12th date would allow the IRS time "to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems to reflect the December 27th tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits'. They also feel the later date will reduce refunds delays and ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.
FYI: Although tax seasons frequently begin in late January, there have been five instances since 2007 when filing seasons did not start for some taxpayers until February due to tax law changes made just before the start of tax time.
Once taxpayers have received all their tax documents, the IRS encourages them to file their tax returns immediately with their tax professional or software company. Returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting February 12. To speed up refunds, taxpayers are urged to file electronically with direct deposit. If there are no issues with their tax return, "the IRS anticipates nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit' . People should avoid filing paper returns, if possible, to prevent processing delays. It can take 4 weeks or longer to process paper returns.
By law, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. That means that taxpayers should not expect to receive their refunds until the first week of March. The additional processing time is intended to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds from being issued.
Start organizing your documents now. See my blog post - Steps To Make 2021 Tax Filing Easier.