The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation's tax season will start on Monday, January 24, 2022. That’s when the IRS will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns. This start date allows the IRS time to perform programming and testing that is critical to ensuring that IRS systems run smoothly.
Many commercial tax preparation software companies and tax professionals started accepting and preparing tax returns earlier in the month. But the completed returns are to be held until they can be filed electronically with the IRS on January 24th.
For most taxpayers, the filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns, an extension, and/or pay taxes owed is Monday, April 18, 2022 instead of April 15th. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022. Taxpayers who requested an extension to file will have until Monday, October 17, 2022.
Tax Refund Schedule
According to the IRS, most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days when they file electronically and choose direct deposit, as long as there are no issues with their tax return. By law, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. The additional time is needed to help them stop fraudulent refunds from being issued.
Whether filed electronically or on paper, some returns may need to be reviewed manually which delays processing. Certain situations --- such as, if the IRS system detects a possible error, missing information,suspicion of identity theft or fraud --- may require the IRS to correspond with taxpayers. If the IRS corrects the return without corresponding, they will send an explanation. “Special handling” by an IRS employee usually means it will take more than the normal 21 days to issue the refund.
Tips To Make Filing Easier
The IRS strongly urges people to file a complete and accurate return electronically, if possible, and choose direct deposit (bank account, prepaid debit card, or mobile app) for the quickest refund. To avoid processing and refunds delays, please review these filing tips before you start a return:
- Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, payment amounts, and tools.
- Set up or log in securely at IRS.gov/account to access personal tax account information including balance, payment amounts, and tax records including adjusted gross income.
- Organize and gather 2021 tax records. Having all of your information in hand before you start ensures a complete and accurate return.
- Make sure the numbers are right. That includes Social Security numbers (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ATIN), and 2022’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PIN).
- Pay extra attention to the amounts if you received Advance Child Tax Credit payments in 2021. Eligible taxpayers should file a 2021 tax return and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to receive the second half or full credit.
The IRS started sending Letter 6419 in late December 2021 and continues to do so into January. The letter contains important information that can help ensure the return is accurate. Or check payment amounts using the CTC Update Portal.
- Pay extra attention to the amounts if you received Economic Impact payments (Stimulus Checks or American Rescue Plan payments) in 2021. Eligible taxpayers should file a 2021 tax return and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to claim any remaining stimulus money.
The IRS will begin issuing Letter 6475 to individuals who received payment in 2021. This letter will help individuals determine if they are eligible for missing stimulus payments. Or use the IRS online account to view their Economic Impact Payment amounts.
- Like last year, individuals who normally are not required to file a return must do so to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for missing 2021 stimulus payments or to reconcile advance CTC payments. They could also receive other credits.
According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, "The pandemic continues to create challenges …”
- With record levels of phone calls coming in, the IRS encourages people to check IRS.gov and establish an IRS online account to help them access their tax information more quickly.
- In many areas, the IRS is still unable to deliver the amount of service and enforcement that the “taxpayers and tax system deserves and needs”.
- The IRS continues to have a backlog of prior-year individual tax returns that have not been fully processed. They claim that as of December 3, 2021, all paper and electronic 2020 refund returns received before April 2021 have been processed … if the return had no errors or did not require further review. But taxpayers do not need to wait for their 2020 return to be fully processed to file their 2021 tax returns.
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 18: Due date for tax year 2021 fourth quarter estimated tax payment.
- January 24: IRS begins 2022 tax season. Individual 2021 tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins.
- January 28: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
- April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed due to Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., even for those who live outside the area.
- April 19: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed for those who live in MA or ME due to Patriots' Day holiday.
- October 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns.
To view the full IRS news release (IR-2022-08), click here.
Internal Revenue Service. (2022 January 10). 2022 tax filing season begins Jan. 24; IRS outlines refund timing and what to expect in advance of April 18 tax deadline [News release]. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/2022-tax-filing-season-begins-jan-24-irs-outlines-refund-timing-and-what-to-expect-in-advance-of-april-18-tax-deadline