The IRS has announced a delay in tax season for 2021. Tax returns can begin being filed on February 12. Typically, tax season begins on January 1 and runs until April 15.
The reason given for the delay is that the IRS requires additional time for programming and system testing that includes the second Economic Impact payments issued beginning on December 27. The tax changes occurred so late in the year as to require additional time preparing internal systems.
The additional time spent on programming should give the IRS the ability to issue refunds as quickly as possible, avoiding unnecessary delays. Any missing stimulus payment money could be received as a Recovery Rebate Credit in the 2020 tax return.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig says “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.”
Any filers who make less than $72,000 per year have the ability to electronically upload their tax return at any time. The IRS will hold the return information until February 12, and then process the return.
The most efficient way to expedite your tax return is to file electronically and provide direct deposit information, while those who file paper returns can expect a delay in processing. The IRS uses a “Where’s my refund?” online tool for filers to track the status of their return.
The IRS currently anticipates that the earliest filers will receive their refunds by the first week of March, with 90% of taxpayers receiving refunds within 21 days of filing electronically.
As of now, the final day to submit tax returns without an extension is April 15. In 2020, the final day was changed by the federal government to July 15.
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