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IRS starts tax season early, warns of potential pandemic hiccups and funding issues

“The pandemic continues to create challenges,” said IRS head Chuck Rettig.

The Internal Revenue Service has warned that tax season will kick off early this year and is forecast to be a particularly “uncomfortable” season, the Internal Revenue Service has warned, as tax changes in the era of the pandemic and Staffing restrictions are affecting the country’s tax authorities.

The IRS announced that it will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax returns on Monday, January 24. This date is two weeks earlier than the start of last year’s tax filing season, the IRS said. will allow more time to make sure everything works. advantage in light of the ongoing pandemic and programmatic changes introduced over the past year, including the Child Tax Credit.

Meanwhile, the deadline to apply or request an extension this year is April 18.

“Planning the national filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working tirelessly over the past few months to prepare,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

“The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people that there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax returns and refunds don’t experience delays in the process.” handling,” Rettig added.

Rettig said some steps Americans can take include filing electronically and receiving refunds through direct deposit, and he also appealed to those who have already received an Economic Impact Payment or Last year’s Child Tax Credit should take extra care when applying to make sure all forms are correct to avoid delays. The IRS says people receiving these child tax credits or stimulus payments in 2021 will need the amounts of these payments when preparing their tax returns. The IRS is sending a letter to the recipient and they can also check the amount received on the IRS website.

People can still file a 2021 return even if they are pending previous tax returns, the IRS added.

Finally, Rettig urges tax preparers to “make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays.”

The tax agency encourages people to search for resources online (such as those available on IRS.gov) before calling the IRS, saying that due to pandemic tax changes and challenges, the system The IRS phone system received more than 145 million calls between January 1 and May 17 of last year – representing more than four times the number of calls in an average year.

The IRS commissioner warned Americans there could be some difficulties or delays this year, saying the understaffed and underfunded agency is doing what it can best given the challenges of processing more than 160 million individual tax returns.

“In many areas, we are unable to provide the amount of service and enforcement that our taxpayers and tax system deserve and need. This is frustrating for taxpayers, for IRS employees and for me too,” said Rettig. “IRS employees want to do more, and we’ll continue in 2022 to do everything we can with the resources available to us. And we’ll continue to look for ways to improve. We want to deliver. as much as possible while protecting the health and safety of our employees and taxpayers Additional resources are needed to help our employees get more done in 2022 – and Moreover. “

Overall, the IRS says it predicts most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of electronic filing – if they choose the direct deposit option and have no issues with it. their return. The agency recommends not filing tax returns whenever possible to avoid delays and get refunds faster, adding that the average return last year was about $2,800.

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/irs-commence-tax-season-early-warns-potential-hiccups/story?id=82195643 IRS starts tax season early, warns of potential pandemic hiccups and funding issues

Emma Bowman

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