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IRS Issues Warning on First Day of Tax Filing Season

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What You Need to Know

  • Filing a paper tax return this year means an extended refund delay, the IRS said.
  • Take special care this year due to several critical tax law changes that took place in 2021, Rettig said.
  • Last year’s average tax refund was more than $2,800.

The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers Monday, the first day of the 2022 tax filing season, to take extra precautions this year to file an accurate tax return electronically to help speed refunds.

“More than 160 million individual tax returns for the 2021 tax year are expected to be filed, with most before the April 18 tax deadline,” the IRS said.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig warned that taxpayers need to take special care this year due to several critical tax law changes that took place in 2021 and ongoing challenges related to the pandemic.

Taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine will have an April 19 deadline due to Patriots Day; disaster victims have later filing deadlines in some locations.

“IRS employees are working hard to deliver a successful 2022 tax season while facing enormous challenges related to the pandemic,” Rettig said. “There are important steps people can take to ensure they avoid processing delays and get their tax refund as quickly as possible. We urge people to carefully review their taxes for accuracy before filing. And they should file electronically with direct deposit if at all possible; filing a paper tax return this year means an extended refund delay.”

For most taxpayers who file a tax return with no issues, the IRS anticipates they will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically if they choose direct deposit — similar to previous years.

Last year’s average tax refund was more than $2,800.

The IRS encourages caution to those who received a third Economic Impact Payment or advance Child Tax Credit in 2021.

“Taxpayers should ensure the amounts they’ve received are entered correctly on the tax return,” the IRS said. “Incorrect entries when reporting these payments mean the IRS will need to further review the tax return, creating an extensive delay.”

The IRS is mailing special letters about the stimulus payments and advance Child Tax Credit payment amounts.

The Treasury Department and the White House announced Monday the re-launch of a revamped website — ChildTaxCredit.gov — with several new features to help taxpayers file their taxes and access the remainder of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) or the full amount of the CTC as tax filing season begins.

People can also check the amount of their payments in their online account available on IRS.gov.

By law, the IRS said, it cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February.

Also, IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest option for help, the agency says.