File Your Tax Return Electronically
Combining both direct deposit and electronic filing can greatly speed up your tax refund. Since filing electronically requires the use of a tax software program, it can flag errors that may cause processing delays by the IRS. These errors may include incorrect Social Security numbers, dependents dates of birth, and misspelling of names.
You can electronically file your tax return for free using the IRS Free File Program if your adjusted gross income is less than $72,000. Most simple tax returns can also generally be filed for free, although you may be charged to file your state taxes.
If your tax situation is more complicated if you sold property, paid business expenses or earned investment or business income, for exampleyou should consider hiring a tax professional. Having a knowledgeable tax professional, such as an enrolled agent, certified public accountant or other tax professional can help review your tax return and identify any mistakes that may slow down the processing of your tax refund.
How To Check The Status Of Your Tax Return
You should be able to check IRS tax refund status roughly 24 hours after your receive confirmation from the IRS that they have received your tax refund via E-File. You will need to wait at least 4 weeks if you mailed in your tax return.
The best way to check the status of your federal tax refund is to visit the Wheres My Refund page at the IRS website.
What you will need:
- Filing Status
- Exact refund amount
You can also call the IRS at 1-800-829-1954, or 1-800-829-4477, or 1-800-829-1040 and inquire about your tax return status with an IRS a customer service representative. Note that the IRS only updates tax return statuses once a day during the week, usually between midnight and 6 am. They do not update the status more than once a day, so checking throughout the day will not give you a different result.
Should I call the IRS to check my federal tax refund status? The IRS has stated you should only call them if it has been:
- 21 days or more since you e-filed
- 6 weeks or more since you mailed your return, or when
- Wheres My Refund, tells you to contact the IRS
The Tax Filing Deadline
The IRS extended the tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17 in 2021. This provision only applies to individuals, not corporations. It means that payments aren’t due until May 17, either, with the exception of estimated tax payments. They’re still due on April 15.
Residents of Texas and surrounding states that were declared to be winter storm disaster areas have even more time to file their tax returns, until June 15, 2021.
Those living in other states can request a six-month extension from the IRS, pushing the filing deadline back to October 15 of this year, if they’re not ready to prepare and file their tax return by May 17. Its a simple matter of filing Form 4868 rather than a tax return by that date.
Payment of any taxes you owe for the year are still due by the May deadline, however. The IRS will charge interest and sometimes late payment penalties if you don’t pay by then.
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How Long Will My Tax Refund Take
The IRS sends over 9 out of 10 refunds to taxpayers in less than three weeks.
Unfortunately, a 21-day delivery of your tax refund isnt guaranteed. There are a number of factors including the choices you make when you file that could impact how long it takes for you to receive your tax refund.
You get to choose how you want to receive any refund the IRS owes you. Here are your options:
- Direct deposit into your bank account .
- Paper check sent through the mail.
- Debit card holding the value of the refund.
- Purchase up to $5,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds.
- Split your refund among up to three financial accounts in your name, including a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP-IRA
The delivery option you choose for your tax refund will affect how quickly you receive your funds. According to the IRS, the fastest way to receive your refund is to combine the direct deposit method with an electronically filed tax return.
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When Is The Last Day For Filing Taxes
The tax filing deadline for 2021 will most likely be April 18th.
The IRS website also has a wide variety of tools and information available that can make preparing taxes easier. In addition, the IRS recommends that you e-file and choose direct deposit as the way to receive your refund. This ensures you keep your information safe, your return is accurate, and that you receive your refund in the fastest amount of time.
Once again, the IRS has projected that nine out of ten returns will receive their refunds in less than 21 days. If you qualify, you should also take advantage of free tax options available. You can go to the IRS.gov to the filing tab to see what options may be available to you.
Tax Return Filing Dates In 2022
Below are the estimated dates for key tax filing activities and deadlines. These will be updated as the IRS provides more information and you can subscribe to get notified of the latest updates.
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An important point to note is that while you can file your taxes anytime after the beginning of the year, the IRS will not process any returns until IRS e-File goes live. This includes returns filed via the main tax software providers or directly via the IRS website for lower income filers. The IRS also reiterated that filing your taxes electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund. It is expected that more than over 80% of tax returns will be e-filed in the latest tax year.
Once your return is accepted the IRS processes your refund based on the IRS E-file Refund Cycle Chart. Exact refund dates are based on IRS processing times and can be found in IRS Publication 2043 and IRS Topic 152 for both e-filed and mailed returns. After filing and assuming your tax return is on order you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 21 days. If you did not select the electronic deposit option, getting a paper check mailed to you adds about a week. As a general rule, you can expect your state tax refund within 30 days of the electronic filing date or the postmark date.
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When Does The Irs Start Accepting Tax Returns
The IRS has announced that the 2020 tax season will begin on January 27th. The beginning of tax season marks the first day that the IRS will accept individual electronic returns and start processing traditional paper returns.
Soon, you and more than 150 million of your fellow Americans will be sifting through tax information and preparing returns or have them prepared for you. In 2018, tax preparers filed nearly 79.5 million electronic returns. In 2019, the industry employed 314,413 tax practitioners in 134,475 businesses and created $11 billion in revenue. Expect tax preparers to be even busier in 2020 due to the tax laws in effect.
You may have an alternative to paying for tax services. About 70% of American taxpayers are eligible to save money by using IRS Free File. The IRS and their commercial partners supply free software to families or individuals making less than $69,000. This software can help you file your taxes without the need of outside assistance.
Regardless of who prepares your taxes, you have until April 15 to file a return or an extension.
Tax Brackets and Tax Rates for 2019 Returns
How much tax revenue does the IRS take in?
During the last fiscal year, the federal government raked in $3.56 trillion in revenue. That works out to almost $11,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. Individual income taxes accounted for $1.95 trillion of that total.
Expecting a Tax Refund?
How To Track The Progress Of Your Refund
The IRS has eliminated the guesswork of waiting for your tax refund by creating IRS2Go, an app that allows you to track the status of your return. You can also check the status of your refund with the Wheres My Refund? online portal.
Both tools provide personalized daily updates for taxpayers 24 hours after a return is e-filed or four weeks after the IRS has received a paper return. After inputting some basic information , you can track your refunds progress through three stages:
Once your refund reaches the third stage, you will need to wait for your financial institution to process a direct deposit or for a paper check to reach you through the mail.
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Estimated Irs Refund Tax Schedule For 2020 Tax Returns
In prior years, the IRS issued its refund tax schedule to provide a timeline when you can expect to receive your tax refund. While the IRS no longer publishes a refund tax schedule, we put together an estimate when you might expect to receive your tax refund based on previous years.
Date IRS Accepts Your Return
Expected Direct Deposit Refund Date
Expected Mailed Check Refund Date
When Can I File My Tax Return
The first official day to file your 2020 tax return is February 12, 2021. However, many tax software programs will allow you to complete your return and file it before that date. They will then hold the returns until the IRS begins accepting them. Some taxpayers who submit their electronic tax return early may be able to participate in the IRS HUB Testing program. This is a controlled testing of the federal tax return system. The IRS processes a small percentage of tax returns from major software providers to test the tax return submission process and allow for fixing bugs before opening the doors to all taxpayers.
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Tax Filing Season Set To Begin February 12
COVID Tax Tip 2020-09, January 28, 2021
The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns on Friday, February 12, 2021.
People who are ready to file can begin filing their tax returns with tax prep software, including IRS Free File. Software providers are accepting completed tax returns now, and holding them until the IRS begins processing returns on Friday, February 12. The quickest way for taxpayers to get a tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit for their refund.
Most earned income tax credit or advanced child tax credit related refunds should be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they choose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
Get Ready For Taxes: Whats New And What To Consider When Filing In 2021
IR-2020-272, December 8, 2020
WASHINGTON The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to take necessary actions in the final weeks of the year to help file federal tax returns timely and accurately in 2021.
This is the third in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines steps taxpayers can take now to make tax filing easier in 2021.
This year, there are some key items to consider involving credits, deductions and refunds:
Recovery Rebate Credit/Economic Impact Payment. Taxpayers who received an Economic Impact Payment, should keep Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, with their 2020 tax records. They may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax year 2020 federal income tax return if:
- they didn’t receive an Economic Impact Payment, or
- their Economic Impact Payment was less than $1,200 , plus $500 for each qualifying child they had in 2020.
If a taxpayer didn’t receive the full amount of the Economic Impact Payment for which they were eligible, they may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file in 2021. Individuals do not need to complete information about the Recovery Rebate Credit on tax year 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR when filing in 2021, unless eligible to claim an additional credit amount.
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Important Filing Season Dates
- Friday, February 12. IRS begins 2021 tax season. Individual tax returns start being accepted and processing begins.
- Thursday, April 15. Due date for filing 2020 tax returns or requesting extension of time to file.
- Thursday, April 15. Due date for paying 2020 tax owed to avoid owing interest and penalties.
- Friday, October 15. Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns.
To Make Filing Easier Taxpayers Should:
- File electronically and use direct deposit for the quickest refunds.
- Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information. There is no need to call the IRS.
Those who may have been eligible for stimulus payments should carefully review their eligibility for the recovery rebate credit. Most people received Economic Impact Payments automatically and those who received the maximum amount don’t need to include any information about their payments when they file.
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Still Waiting For A Tax Refund Irs Backlog Has Grown To 35 Million Returns
A growing backlog of unprocessed tax returns now stands at 35 million, creating ongoing refund delays for millions of taxpayers, the National Taxpayer Advocate said in a recent report. That represents an increase in the IRS’ backlog of unprocessed returns from May, when it was holding 31 million returns.
Some taxpayers have recently told CBS MoneyWatch they have been waiting months for their refunds, and have been unable to learn when their tax return might be processed or when they can expect to receive their refund. As the typical refund stands at more than $2,800 per taxpayer, a delay could cause financial hardship, especially for the many households that rely on their refunds to pay bills.
The backlog at the IRS comes after a “perfect storm” that created “perhaps the most challenging filing season taxpayers, tax professionals and the IRS have ever experienced,” wrote National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins in the Wednesday report. The pandemic caused the IRS to shut down some of its operations, while it was also given more responsibility from Congress through several new tax initiatives, such as the three rounds of stimulus checks that were distributed by the tax agency.
Some people may be able to weather the delay, Collins noted, but it could “impose significant financial hardships” on low-income taxpayers and small businesses without much wiggle room, she said.
Fastest Way To Get A Refund
Many Americans may be eagerly awaiting a tax refund, which could be the biggest windfall they see all year. The fastest way to get that refund is to file your taxes as soon as possible, Maag said.
“There’s no benefit to waiting,” she said.
And, if you find that you owe money, filing earlier gives you time to make payments to the IRS before the April deadline, after which you could be subject to penalties, said Anjali Jariwala, CFP, CPA and founder of FIT Advisors in Torrance, California.
It also allows you some time to adjust your withholding so that you don’t have a tax bill in the future.
“People really hate writing big checks to the IRS at the end of the year,” she said.
To be sure, as Congress continues to work on coronavirus relief, there could be additional changes to the tax code that would impact 2020 returns. But experts say that’s not a reason to delay filing your tax information, or at least starting the process of filling out your return, as it’s not clear when another package will become law.
“I think it’s more prudent this year to get everything situated,” said Jariwala, adding that if legislation is passed that would change your return, you can file an amended one later.
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How To Get A Fast Tax Refund
When tax season rolls in, you can start preparing your tax return online. Once you have it completed, you will be among the first of taxpayers who have their returns processed and their refunds issued.
Keep in mind when you file your taxes with TurboTax or H& R Block, the process is easy. They provide you with the largest refund possible by ensuring that they ask the right questions to find out which deductions and credits you qualify for.
You can also use their free tax refund calculators to see how much your tax refund will be. When you file your taxes online, there is no way that you can go wrong, and many taxpayers can file their federal tax returns free or at a discount.