With filing season opening on Feb. 12, the Internal Revenue Service urged taxpayers to take some simple steps to help ensure they file accurate tax returns and speed their tax refunds to avoid a variety of pandemic-related issues.
Although every year the IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file their returns and use direct deposit to receive refunds, to those taxpayers who have previously not used e-file, the IRS emphasizes using it this year to avoid paper-related processing delays.
Taxpayers have until Thursday, April 15, 2021, to file their 2020 tax return and pay any tax owed. The IRS expects to receive more than 160 million individual tax returns this year with nine out of 10 returns filed electronically. At least eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by using direct deposit.
Extension of Time to report tax returns:
IRS has enabled you to extend the due date to report your tax return by requesting extension of time, Form 4868 – Personal Income Tax Extension Returns and Form 7004 – Business Income Tax Extension Return by the due date. The extension of time will push your due date beyond and get you maximum 6-months to report the tax returns. However the extension is to report the tax returns and not for the taxes that you owe. Pay the taxes as early as possible by the deadline to avoid late filing charges, penalties and interests.
“The pandemic has created a variety of tax law changes and has created some unique circumstances for this filing season,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “To avoid issues, the IRS urges taxpayers to take some simple steps to help ensure they get their refund as quickly as possible, starting with filing electronically and using direct deposit.
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The IRS had to delay the start of tax season in order to focus on distributing the second round of Economic Impact Payments authorized by Congress last December to help taxpayers cope with the economic fallout from the pandemic. “Our focus as the pandemic continues is to help taxpayers and the tax industry in a way that ensures the safety of our employees and the safety of the taxpayers we serve,” said Corbin. “There are a couple of important steps that they can take which will greatly improve their experience this year and help them get their refunds faster. The first step is to gather your documents. Make sure you have everything before filing your return or visiting your preparer. Most taxpayers already received their Form W-2, which is a wage and tax statement from their employers, and Form 1099 from other payers. If you didn’t, you should first check with your employer or your mail.”