If you’re an early bird who likes to get your tax return filed as soon as possible, you’re going to have to wait a little longer this year: The IRS has announced the U.S. tax filing season will open on Friday, February 12, 2021 – 16 days later than in 2020.

You Can Still Get Started with Tax Return Preparation

Even though you won’t be able to file your tax return until the IRS opens the gates on February 12, you can still prepare your return so it’s ready to submit – in fact, some tax preparation software companies have already opened to taxpayers.

The good news is that the IRS plans to start processing returns on February 12 as well as accepting them. As you go through the tax preparation process, here are some important points to keep in mind for this tax filing season:

  • The sooner you file your tax return, the sooner you will receive any refund due.
  • To speed up refunds, the IRS is urging taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit enabled.
  • If you have a federal tax refund, you could potentially receive that money in as little as three weeks (the IRS anticipates nine out of ten taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days).
  • If you’re a taxpayer who claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit, don’t expect your refund before the first week of March.

Battling the Backlog

In a January 21, 2021 address, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig announced the IRS has finally cleared the massive backlog of over 23 million pieces of unopened paper mail.  Rettig also said that millions of tax returns filed in 2020 are still pending, but the IRS is now processing all those returns it has received.

Talk to a Tax Professional

Have questions about your tax situation or want to ensure you’re not leaving money on the table?  Talk to one of our Barnes Dennig tax professionals to ensure you’re ready for this upcoming filing season. We focus on not only knowing the tax code inside and out, but also on developing smart strategies and innovative insights to optimize your position. Contact us – we’re here to help.