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The Internal Revenue Service recently released the latest information for the 2022 tax season including deadlines and refund timing. Individual tax returns processing starts on January 24, 2022. This allows the IRS plenty of time to give programs a test run. The 2022 tax season brought changes to the Child Tax Credit. It also includes a way to claim unreceived stimulus money as a credit on tax forms.

tax and the American Flag

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Filing Deadlines for the 2022 Tax Season

April 18 is the filing deadline for most 2021 tax returns and extensions. Any taxes owed are due by Monday, April 18, 2022. The filing deadline changed this year due to a holiday. The Emancipation Day holiday impacts this year’s deadline. However, taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine have until April 19, 2022, to file tax returns because of the Patriots’ Day holiday in those areas. Taxpayers who file for an extension have until Monday, October 17, 2022, to complete their tax filings.

Filing 2021 Tax Returns

IRS personnel continue to work hard on those areas affected by the pandemic. They are still processing last years’ tax returns and dealing with a record number of phone calls. They encourage taxpayers to be patient as they continue to work on present and past issues. The IRS is trying to deliver as much as possible while protecting the health and safety of both taxpayers and their employees. They are providing additional resources as the nation continues to move deeper into the 2022 tax season. Taxpayers do not have to wait until 2020 returns are processed to file 2021 tax returns.

Helpful Information for Taxpayers

The IRS suggests that taxpayers use all available online resources before calling. In 2021, the IRS received four times more phone calls than they typically average in a year’s time. From January 1 to May 17, 2021, the IRS received over 145 million phone calls. Taxpayers will also find a plethora of free help options on the website. The site houses many free features including:

  • Free tax assistance
  • Tax counseling for the elderly
  • IRS Free File program
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Officials hope more taxpayers will create online accounts so they can easily and quickly access information.

Processing of Refunds

The IRS hopes US taxpayers will receive refunds by direct deposit within 21 days after filing electronically. This is of course if there are no errors or issues with their tax paperwork. Individuals can file returns beginning January 24, 2022. By law, the IRS is not allowed to issue refunds on returns that involve Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax credit until mid-February. The law helps provide extra time for the IRS to prevent fraudulent refunds.

Some returns need manual review whether filed on paper or electronically. Manual review delays processing. If the IRS tax program detects missing information or possible errors, or if fraud or identity theft are suspected the forms will require manual processing. Some issues require that taxpayers be informed, others do not. However, manual processing requires special handling by IRS employees. In these cases, it may take more than 21 days for the IRS to issue a refund. If the IRS corrects the return without correspondence with the taxpayer, a letter of explanation will be issued to the taxpayer.

Important Filing Dates for the 2022 Tax Season

Here are some of the dates taxpayers need to keep in mind for the 2022 tax season:

  • January 14: Taxpayers may start filing returns through IRS Free File partners
  • Jan. 18: 2021 fourth quarter estimated tax payments are due
  • January 24: Beginning of the 2022 tax season
  • Jan. 28: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day
  • April 18: Tax return or extension due date
  • April 19: Tax return or extension due date for Maine and Massachusetts
  • October 17: Tax return filing date for those who requested an extension