News and Updates from the IRS

2022 tax filing season begins January 24; IRS outlines refund timing and what to expect in advance of the April 18 tax deadline


WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation's tax season will start on Monday, January 24, 2022, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns. The January 24 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to perform programming and testing that is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. Updated programming helps ensure that eligible people can claim the proper amount of the Child Tax Credit after comparing their 2021 advance credits and claim any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2021 tax return.


"Planning for the nation's filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop these past several months to prepare," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "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. Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year. And we urge extra attention to those who received an Economic Impact Payment or an advance Child Tax Credit last year. People should make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays."


The IRS encourages everyone to have all the information they need in hand to make sure they file a complete and accurate return. An accurate tax return can avoid processing delays, refund delays, and later IRS notices. This is especially important for people who received advance Child Tax Credit payments or Economic Impact Payments (American Rescue Plan stimulus payments) in 2021; they will need the amounts of these payments when preparing their tax returns. The IRS is mailing unique letters to recipients, and they can also check amounts received on IRS.gov.


Last year, many individuals filed tax returns even though they were not required to file. Some individuals filed a 2021 return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit to receive the tax credit from the 2021 stimulus payments or reconcile advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. These filings significantly placed a burden on the IRS administrative processing due to IRS Covid-19 policy. 


Watch for IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments and third Economic Impact Payments.


The IRS started sending Letter 6419, 2021 advance Child Tax Credit, in late December 2021 and continues to do so into January. The letter contains important information that can help ensure the return is accurate. People who received the advance CTC payments can also check the amount they received by using the CTC Update Portal available on IRS.gov. 


Eligible taxpayers who received advance Child Tax Credit payments should file a 2021 tax return to receive the second half of the credit. Eligible taxpayers who did not receive advance Child Tax Credit payments can claim the full credit by filing a tax return.


The IRS will begin issuing Letter 6475, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, to individuals who received the third payment in 2021 in late January. While most eligible people have already received their stimulus payments, this letter will help individuals determine if they can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus payments. If so, they must file a 2021 tax return to claim their remaining stimulus amount. People can also use IRS online account to view their Economic Impact Payment amounts.


Both letters include essential information to help people file an accurate 2021 tax return. If the return includes errors or is incomplete, it may require further review while the IRS corrects the error, slowing the tax refund. Using this information when preparing a tax return electronically can reduce errors and avoid delays in processing.  


The fastest way for eligible individuals to get their 2021 tax refund, including their allowable Child Tax Credit and Recovery Rebate Credit, is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit.


Tips to make filing easier


To avoid processing delays and speed refunds, the IRS urges people to follow these steps:  
1.) Organize and gather 2021 tax records, including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and this year's Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers valid for the calendar year 2022.  Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on reconciling advance payments of the Child Tax Credit or claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus payments. There is no need to call. 


2.) Set up or log in securely at IRS.gov/account to access personal tax account information, including balance, payments, and tax records, including adjusted gross income. Make final estimated tax payments for 2021 by Tuesday, January 18, 2022, to help avoid a tax-time bill and possible penalties. Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card, or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers. Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool.  File a complete and accurate return electronically when ready and choose direct deposit for the quickest refund.

January 25, 2022