ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Today is the first day to file your taxes for the 2021 year; 17 days earlier than usual, according to the IRS. The agency said they are moving the date up because of expected issues with filing and returns, because of a number of issues.
The deadline for filing tax returns is Monday, April 18 this year, three days later than the typical April 15 deadline for filing taxes. The later date is a result of an Emancipation Holiday in the District of Columbia. By law, in Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone the same way federal holidays do.
We’ve put together a list of things you need to do as you get your taxes together, organized by headline. We recommend that if you are looking for something specific, hit Ctrl+F or Cmd+F to search this webpage.
Working from home
According to state officials, if you live in New York, but work remotely for a company in another state, you could have tax liability in both states. However, remote workers typically receive a tax credit in their state of residence to eliminate double taxation of that income.
“Every tax payer’s situation is going to be different depending on where they live, what the tax rate is where they live, and what the tax rate is of their office or traditional workplace is,” said Amy Arrigi, with the Regional Income Tax Agency in New York.
U.S. taxpayers, brace yourselves because tax filing season starts Monday and you can expect the task to be more cumbersome than usual this year. That’s due to an overloaded and understaffed IRS workforce, as well as complications from pandemic-related programs.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki says the IRS has “unacceptable backlogs” and she says the customer service that people are receiving “is not what the American public deserves.” There will be plenty of new issues to navigate this year. For example, individuals who are eligible to claim the child tax credit and have gotten advance payments throughout the year may get a smaller refund than they’d normally see.
The IRS is warning that a resurgence of COVID-19 infections on top of less funding authorization from Congress than the Biden administration had requested could make this filing season particularly challenging.
“The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said.
Avoiding a paper tax return will be more than important than ever this year to avert processing delays, Rettig said. He urged taxpayers to file their returns electronically and to get their refunds by direct deposit.
Child tax credit
If you are a family received these payments during the year, Tax Partner at Mengel Metzger Barr & Co. Jim Schnell says you’re going to receive a letter from the IRS Letter 6419. That form will let you know how much money you collected this year.
And on your personal form, form 8812, you’ll have to account for that amount. Schnell says a lot of the work he does is assisting business owners who also have families.
“Letter 6419 its a summary of the advanced child tax credit in 2021you need that letter to know that amount ends up getting reported form 8812,” he said. “On your return its going to calculate how much credit your eligible for and you need to subtract what you already received that net benefit is going to be new to you as you file 2021 return. “
“Go back through your financial life, bank statements, look at your checkbook, various piles, lot of people do a summer purge give stuff to charity forget about it this time of year. so go back through look at what went on in your life and make a note of things always ask questions will this help me will this benefit,” Schnell said.
The IRS offered these five tips to help taxpayers speed up the process and refund while avoiding delays.
- Use e-file and direct deposit to file an return to avoid delays
- Collect all documents before preparing a tax return; make sure stimulus payment and advance Child Tax Credit information is accurate
- Use online resources before calling the IRS to avoid lengthy phone delays
- If you’re waiting on the 2020 tax return to be processed, enter $0 for last year’s Adjusted Gross Income on the 2021 tax return
- Free resources are available to those who need help filing
“The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays,” said Rettig.
The majority of Americans are already using direct deposit to get their refunds, but, if you aren’t, the IRS calls it the “best and fastest way to get your tax refund.”
If you’re using tax software, just select direct deposit as the refund method and enter your bank account and routing numbers. If you’re unsure where to find that information, you can look at a paper check, which will have your routing number on the bottom left and account number on the bottom right. You can also check your online back account info or call the bank for help.
If you have a prepaid debit card you may be able to send the money directly to it, but you’ll need to check with the financial institution to make sure you have the correct routing and account info.
For those taxpayers who don’t have a bank account, the IRS encourages people to visit the FDIC website, Veterans Benefits Banking Program or the National Credit Union Administration for help opening an online account.
To make the refund process even faster, file your taxes electronically and select direct deposit for the refund. The IRS says nine out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days when the entire process is done electronically.
Doing so may be vital this year as it’s still unclear how the explosion of COVID-19 cases driven by the omicron variant will affect the IRS workers tasked with processing returns.
The IRS also notes that filing a complete and accurate return will help streamline the process. Taxpayers are encouraged to check IRS.gov for the latest on questions around advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus money and other issues.
Antsy and just can’t wait to see that larger number in your account? You can always check the progress of the refund using the IRS Where’s My Refund tool.
Avoiding fraud; tips from the IRS
- Choose a tax preparer wisely. Look for a preparer who is available year-round.
- Ask your tax preparer for their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All paid preparers are required to have one.
- Don’t use a ghost preparer. They won’t sign a tax return they prepare for you.
- Don’t fall victim to tax preparers’ promises of large refunds. Taxpayers must pay their fair share of taxes.
- Don’t sign a blank tax return. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for what appears on tax returns filed with the IRS.
- Make sure you receive your refund. Your refund should be deposited into your bank account, not your tax preparer’s.
- The IRS will not call you threatening legal action. If you receive a call like this, hang up.
- Don’t respond to text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS. They may contain malware that could compromise your personal information.
- Don’t click links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or text messages about your tax return. These messages are fraudulent.
- Protect your personal and financial information. Never provide this information in response to unsolicited text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS.