Tax Filing Season Begins Feb.12, 2021
The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation's tax season will start on Friday, February 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.
This is later than in most previous years when tax season has started in January. The IRS says the delay is due to the extra time it needs for programming and testing its systems following the December 27, 2020 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.
The programming work is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers. These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.
IRS recommends taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit to speed the process during the pandemic period. Although IRS will not accept tax returns until Feb. 12, many tax software companies are starting to accept tax returns now. These companies will transmit the returns on your behalf to the IRS starting February 12, 2021. If you would like to file a paper return, you must wait for the starting date.
The IRS anticipates a first week of March refund for many EITC and ACTC taxpayers if they file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns. Taxpayers can check their refund status on the IRS website. Normally, the taxpayers can receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return.
IRS says more than 150 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year, with the vast majority before the Thursday, April 15 deadline.