IRS Offers Alternate Timeline for Filing 2021 Tax Returns
Monday, the Internal Revenue Service indicated that it would begin accepting 2021 federal tax returns on January 24. If you are executing your tax planning strategies in the near future, you may also be interested to know that delays and other problems are expected this year. Although most tax seasons are busy for the IRS, limited funding, as well as backlogs from a two-year-long pandemic will likely make this season more frustrating for all involved.
This Year’s Deadline Changed to April 18
Most years, April 15 is the tax filing deadline unless you are having tax problems and have requested an extension. However, this year, Emancipation Day will be observed on April 15 in Washington, DC. For this reason, the federal filing deadline is extended to Monday, April 18. For those filing from Maine or Massachusetts, the date will be Tuesday, April 19, because Patriot’s Day is observed on the 18th in those states.
Delays Expected for 2021 Filing Season
Most California tax lawyers suggest that you not be surprised by delays this year. Filers, accountants, and IRS agents are usually busy at tax time, but the current tax season is plagued with several additional issues that may slow things down. In a Monday briefing, IRS officials said that at the beginning of the average tax season, they sometimes have as many as 1 million backlogged returns. However, this year, that number has been multiplied several times over.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said last week that delays with both the processing of returns and tax assistance occurred because the IRS was busy overseeing various pandemic relief efforts that Congress passed last year. These included the issuing of Economic Impact Payments, which were distributed in three rounds, and the advance distribution of money for the Child Tax Credit.
Rettig stated that despite significant efforts by IRS personnel, the latter were unable to respond to an unprecedented number of calls and are still working through 2020 tax returns that were filed last year. He openly admitted that, in many cases, the agency could not enforce certain laws or deliver the level of service taxpayers need and deserve.
Taxpayers Can Begin Filing on January 24
Although Treasury officials have stated that the IRS is experiencing a backlog, you can still file as early as January 24 and expect a refund within 21 days. However, it is important to understand that this is only if you completely and accurately fill out your return. If there are mistakes or other things that might make your return complex, this could affect the amount of time it takes to receive your money. Rettig also recommended direct deposit as the fastest way to obtain your refund.
More Calls to the IRS May Go Unanswered
Calling the IRS during this year’s tax season may result in as bleak an outcome as it did last year, with over two-thirds of calls remaining unanswered. Therefore, if you owe back taxes or have concerns about your return, contact an IRS tax attorney for assistance.