The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the nation’s individual tax filing season will officially begin when the agency starts accepting and processing 2021 tax returns on January 24, 2022.
To avoid processing delays, the IRS encourages taxpayers to have all the information they’ll need in hand in order to ensure a complete and accurate return is filed. This is especially important for those who have received Child Tax Credit advances and Economic Impact (stimulus) payments in 2021. To assist with this, the IRS will be issuing Letter 6419, 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit, and Letter 6475, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, to individuals who received either or both of these payments. The letters will provide taxpayers with important information, including amounts paid, that will need to be reported on their tax returns. For a quicker option, taxpayers can check amounts received by using the Child Tax Credit Portal or their IRS Online Account.
Additionally, the IRS is urging taxpayers to file returns electronically and with direct deposit information for the quickest processing of returns and refunds.
The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension of time to file is April 18, 2022 for most taxpayers. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until October 17 to file, though any tax due must be paid by April 18 to avoid late payment penalties. This filing deadline is currently not expected to be delayed as it has been for the prior two tax filing seasons.
The above announcements come on the heels of what National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins is calling “the most challenging year taxpayers and tax professionals have ever experienced.” Lengthy delays by the IRS in processing tax returns and taxpayer correspondence, overwhelmed telephone assistance, and shortcomings in new online tools all combined to make 2021 a historic ordeal. As of late December 2021, the IRS was still processing a backlog of 6 million original paper-filed returns, 2.3 million amended returns, 2 million Forms 941 and 941X, and 5 million items of taxpayer correspondence.
Still waiting on processing of a prior-year tax return? The IRS is advising that you do not need to wait for processing to be completed before filing your 2021 return.
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