“It would be the same experience for taxpayers if the filing season opened in late January,” the agency said. According to the law, the agency will not be able to issue refunds to people using the loan until after mid-February as part of its anti-fraud policy.
Jan. 24, 2021, 8:21 p.m. ET
The IRS said taxpayers seeking instant refunds should file their tax returns electronically. “Avoid filing paper returns wherever possible,” the agency said.
Certain tax forms and attachments cannot be filed electronically, said Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer’s attorney, but most can.
Although the IRS won’t start accepting and processing returns until February 12th, if you have all of the required documents, you can prepare your return beforehand. Then it can be submitted when the filing season begins.
“Don’t hesitate,” said Dina Pyron, world leader in EY Tax Chat, a tax preparation mobile app.
The IRS Free File program is now ready for use if you want to prepare your own tax return. Free File, a partnership between the IRS and tax software company, is available to individuals with an adjusted gross income of $ 72,000 or less. The program offers free online preparation and filing of federal declarations. However, some vendors charge government returns fees. You can now complete your return and it will be submitted to the IRS starting February 12th.
Business tax preparers can also prepare tax returns and submit them in February. The fees vary depending on the complexity of your return. To find a reputable preparer, you can search IRS.gov.
If you need further guidance but are on a budget, you can request free help preparing and filing your tax returns from two IRS-backed community-based volunteer tax preparation programs. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps people with an income below $ 57,000. AARP Foundation Tax Aide helps filers of all ages, with a focus on those aged 50 and over or those with low and middle incomes. Programs typically open before filing season and may require appointments. Last year sites had to close due to the virus, but this year many websites are expecting help via phone or mobile app.