The IRS announced on January 15, 2021 that the tax season will officially begin on February 12, 2021, that’s when the tax agency will begin accepting and also processing the 2020 tax year returns.
The reason February 12, 2021 was the selected start date for individual tax return filers is to allow the IRS time to do work out the kinks on the new programming to their systems following December 27 tax law changes. These changes were due to the second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.
Important filing dates
- January 15. IRS Free File Opens. You can start filing your returns through Free File partners; keep in mind that your tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS until February 12. Tax software companies will also accept tax filings in advance.
- January 29. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits will be available to many people which includes the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
- February 12. The IRS will begin the 2021 tax season. Individual tax returns will begin to be accepted and will begin processing.
- February 22. The IRS is projecting that the IRS.gov Where’s My Refund Tool will be updated for those claiming EITC and ACTC, also referred to as PATH Act returns.
- First week of March. Tax refunds will begin to reach those who claim EITC and ACTC (PATH Act returns) for people who file electronically with direct deposit and have no issues with their tax returns.
- April 15. Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns.
- October 15. Deadline to file for anyone who is requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns.
Tips to simplify your tax filing
- File electronically with the direct deposit as a preferred method for the quickest refunds.
- Check IRS.gov to receive the latest tax information, including the latest on Economic Impact Payments. These tools make it easier for everything and avoids the necessity to call the IRS.
- If you are eligible for stimulus payments, it is recommended that you carefully read all the guidelines for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Most received Economic Impact Payments automatically but anyone who received the max amount does not need to include any information about their payments when they file their returns. If you did not receive a payment or only received a partial payment you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 tax return. Tax preparation software, even IRS free File, will help you figure the amount.
- Advance stimulus payments received separately will not be taxable, and they do not reduce your refund when filing in 2021.
For more information please feel free to visit the IRS website.