Mark your calendars: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced it is accepting and processing tax returns starting on February 12, 2021.
IRS Tax Dates for 2021
If you’re thinking that February sounds a little later than usual, you’re right. Last year, tax season started on January 27, 2020. The Internal Revenue Service says the delay is to give it time to program and test its systems to accommodate COVID-related tax law changes enacted late last year.
“Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation’s most important filing seasons ever. This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible.”
While the IRS Free File program opened on January 15, 2021, returns were not processed until February 12. The deadline to file 2020 tax returns has been extended to May 17, 2021.
Key Tax Season Dates
- January 15: IRS Free File is open for eligible taxpayers to begin filing returns
- February 12: Tax season begins
- February 22: Where’s My Refund tool is available
- April 15: Estimated tax payments due for people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding
- May 17: Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns
- October 15: Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns for those requesting an extension
Important Note About Stimulus Checks and Your Taxes
If you didn’t receive the full amount of the Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. To see if you’re eligible, you need to complete the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet section for Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR even if you don’t normally have to file a tax return.
If you did get the full amount, you do not need to complete any information about the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return.
If your income is $72,000 or below, check out the IRS Free File program. It’s a free way to prepare and file your federal income tax online. Credit Karma Tax is another free option to help you keep more money in your wallet this tax season. Read Team Clark’s complete guide to free federal and state tax filing options here.
Questions about taxes and your money? The Consumer Action Center is a free helpline you can call: 470-284-7137.