IRS to commence tax season early, warns of potential hiccups due to pandemic and funding issues

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“The pandemic continues to create challenges,” said IRS chief Chuck Rattig.

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Tax season will begin earlier this year and is already forecast to be particularly “disappointing”, the Internal Revenue Service has warned, as pandemic-era tax changes and staffing limits squeeze the nation’s tax agency. .

The IRS announced that it will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns on Monday, January 24. That date is two weeks before the start of last year’s tax season, which the IRS said would allow more time to be sure of everything. Smoothly amid the pandemic and programming changes introduced over the past year, including the Child Tax Credit.

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Meanwhile, the deadline for extending or requesting an extension this year is April 18.

“Planning the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working tirelessly to prepare for the past several months,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rattig said in a statement.

“The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax returns and refunds do not face delays in processing,” Ratig said. said.

Some steps Americans can take include filing electronically and getting their refunds via direct deposit, Ratig said, and he also urged those who received economic impact payments or advance child tax credits in the past year. So that extra attention can be given while filing to ensure that all the forms. precise to avoid delay. The IRS said that people who received these tax credits or incentive payments for children in 2021 will need to account for the amounts of these payments when preparing their tax returns. The IRS is sending letters to recipients and they can also check the amounts received on the IRS website.

The IRS said people can still file 2021 returns even if they are waiting to process previous tax returns.

Finally, Ratig urged that filers should “make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays.”

The tax agency encouraged people to seek online resources (such as information available at irs.gov) before calling the IRS, saying that as a result of the pandemic-era tax changes and challenges, the IRS phone system was called 145. Received over a million calls. January 1 and May 17 of the previous year — representing four times more calls than in an average year.

The IRS commissioner warned Americans to expect some glitches or delays this year, saying the unwise and underfunded agency is doing its best given the challenges of processing more than 160 million individual tax returns. .

“In many areas, we are unable to deliver the amount of service and enforcement that our taxpayers and the tax system deserve and need. This is frustrating for taxpayers, for IRS employees, and for me,” Ratig said. “IRS employees want to do more, and we will continue to do everything we can with the resources available to us in 2022. And we will continue to look for ways to improve. We want to deliver as much as possible while protecting health.” and protect our employees and taxpayers. Additional resources are necessary to help our employees do more in 2022 and beyond.”

Overall, the IRS said it estimates that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of filing electronically — if they choose the direct deposit option and have no issues with their return. The agency recommends not filing paper returns whenever possible to avoid delays and get a faster refund, saying the average refund last year was about $2,800.

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