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What to Expect for the 2021 Tax Filing Season

Info From the IRS: What to Expect for the 2021 Tax-Filing Season

John-Rothans

Written by John Rothans

Feb 4, 2022

This year’s tax-filing season began on January 24. Now the clock is ticking before we reach the April 18 tax-filing deadline. Follow along as we review various deadlines, refund expectations, and tips for simplifying your tax filing.

When Can I Start Filing Taxes for 2021?

The IRS began accepting returns for the 2021 tax year on January 24, 2022. Unless you file for an extension, you must submit your federal tax return by April 18, 2022. If you seek an extension and are approved, the tax-filing deadline is October 17, 2022.

This year’s due date is April 18 instead of April 15 because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia for all taxpayers except those who live in Maine or Massachusetts. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022, to file their returns because of the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states.

Taxpayers generally don’t need to wait for the IRS to fully process their 2020 returns to file their 2021 tax returns. The IRS is still processing some returns for the 2020 tax year.

Tax Refund Expectations for 2022

The IRS expects most taxpayers to receive their refunds within 21 days of filing electronically if they choose direct deposit for refunds and if no issues arise concerning their tax returns.

Last year’s average tax refund exceeded $2,800, the IRS says.

More than 160 million individual returns for the 2021 tax year are expected to be filed this year, with most of those arriving before the April tax deadline, according to the IRS.

Tax-Filing Tips for 2022

The IRS offers these tips for simplifying the tax-filing process:

  • To speed up refunds, file electronically and provide direct deposit information.
  • Gather and organize 2021 tax records as soon as possible, including W-2s, Form 1099s, Social Security numbers, individual taxpayer-identification numbers, and identity protection personal identification numbers for the 2022 calendar year.
  • Develop a system for keeping all of your essential tax information together, including a software program for electronic records or a filing cabinet for paper documents in labeled folders.
  • Visit irs.gov to obtain the latest tax information. This lets you avoid being put on hold if you call the IRS.
  • Carefully review your tax return to find errors that could delay processing your return and issuing your tax refund.
  • Report all income, including unemployment benefits and pay from contract work.
  • If you need help doing your taxes, look into hiring a reputable and qualified tax preparer.
  • Consider filing your taxes at no cost through the IRS Free File platform.
  • Make 2021 contributions to your IRAs by April 18, 2022. For the 2021 tax year, total contributions to traditional and Roth IRAs can’t exceed $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re at least 50 years old.

Is your tax bill going to be higher than you anticipated? You might have time to reduce it before the filing deadline by putting more money into your retirement savings account.

“A worker in the 24% tax bracket who maxes out this account will reduce [their] federal income tax bill by $1,440,” estimates U.S. News & World Report.

Learn how a self-directed IRA can help you reach your retirement goals in a tax-advantaged way.

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