Tax season is among us and just like any other year, it’s important to prepare your information carefully and file as early as possible. The IRS began accepting 2021 tax returns on January 24, 2022, which was two weeks earlier than last year’s filing date.
The coronavirus pandemic and other events have impacted tax filing for individuals and business owners. If you have questions about preparing and filing your taxes, how to get your refund as quickly as possible, or any other important details, we have your answers.
Top 5 Tax Season Questions
1. What are the tax deadlines for 2021?
For most taxpayers, the deadline for filing your 2021 tax return is Monday, April 18, 2022.
Taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine have until April 19 to file. Victims of the winter storms in Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee along with wildfire victims in Colorado have until May 16 to file.
You can find more information about tax relief in disaster situations on the IRS website.
2. Should I file early?
If you have all the necessary documents in order, and if you’re getting a refund from the IRS, there’s no need to wait. Filing as soon as possible means that you’ll receive your refund sooner.
However, if you owe money, there’s no rush to file this tax season. Waiting gives you more time to figure out how you’ll pay.
In any event, even if you aren’t filing immediately, don’t wait to prepare your taxes. Make sure that you have all of the documents you need to file a complete return.
3. When is the deadline to file for an extension?
Taxpayers can request an extension to file by April 18. The extension pushes the due date to October 17, 2022. Be aware that filing an extension doesn’t extend the timeline you have to pay the IRS.
To avoid late penalties, you’ll need to pay an estimate of what you expect you’ll owe. Remember, a tax extension simply gives you more time to prepare and file your tax return.
4. What happens if I miss the tax deadline?
If you’ll be receiving a refund, there’s no penalty for filing your federal taxes late. However, this isn’t necessarily true for state taxes. It’s best practice to file your individual tax return as soon as you can. However, if you owe the IRS, missing the tax deadline is problematic. Any unpaid taxes due after the filing deadline are subject to penalties and interest.
For each month your return is late, you’ll pay a five percent late-filing penalty. Fees increase up to 25 percent on the balance after 60 days. You may also be subject to a late-payment penalty, which is 0.5 percent of the taxes due each month your tax return is late. This percentage can also increase up to 25 percent.
5. When will I receive my refund?
How quickly you receive your refund depends on how you file. If you opt for direct deposit, you should receive your refund within 21 days. Filing electronically is encouraged by the IRS to prevent any processing delays and is the fastest way to get the money owed to you. Otherwise, if you choose to receive a check by mail, you may be waiting weeks to receive your refund.