Filing taxes last year was complicated and filled with last-minute changes. This year’s tax-filing season should be easier, but there are still plenty of new issues to deal with if you lost your job, started a new job or freelance work, collected unemployment benefits, had a baby or other life changes in 2021. You may also need to take extra steps when you file your income tax return if you were eligible for extra stimulus funds or advance child tax credits. You may have special issues to deal with this year, even if your taxes are usually simple. However, there were still some other COVID-related benefits that did not continue into 2021. For example, there is currently no tax break on unemployment benefits received in 2021, but we can’t rule out Congress passing a last-minute tax break like they did last year. Meanwhile, some new laws will help filers this year. Among them is the expanded $600 charitable deduction for married couples who don’t itemize and a larger break for child and dependent care expenses.
There are also some tax benefits to consider when it comes to saving for college, paying for medical care and supporting your local economy. Here’s what you need to know about filing your taxes and making the most of your benefits. How to File Taxes? There are several options for filing your taxes. You can do them yourself, use tax software, go to a tax preparer in person or virtually, or help from a CPA or enrolled agent. There are different levels of support and costs depending on the complexity of your situation. You may be able to file your taxes for free through IRS Free File if your income was below $73,000 in 2021. With this program, several online tax preparation companies partner with the IRS to offer free tax-filing services. See the IRS’ Free File page for more information. Free File opens on Jan. 14, and returns will be submitted to the IRS starting on Jan. 24. When to File Taxes Whether you’re due a refund or owe money to the IRS, you need to make sure you file your taxes before the deadline. It can be challenging to catch up, but there are a few key dates to know for filing your 2020 taxes. The IRS will begin accepting 2021 returns on Jan. 24, 2022. You should wait until you receive your key forms to file, such as your W-2 from your employer and any 1099 forms reporting earnings from other sources, such as interest, dividends, self-employment and unemployment compensation.
Most of these forms must be sent by Jan. 31, although brokerage firms have until Feb. 15 to send some 1099s. You can import your W-2s and 1099s into your tax preparation software if you work with a tax filing service such as TurboTax. Be on the lookout for a letter from the IRS this year reporting how much you were due in the advance payment of the child tax credit and how many qualifying children were used to calculate that payment. This information will help you reconcile the amount of tax credit you received with what you were eligible for. The IRS will send letter 6475 to everyone who received the third round of economic impact payments. This letter is used to help you determine whether you are eligible for a refund of any stimulus money you received. If you did not get all of the third stimulus payment or you had a baby, you may be eligible for more stimulus in the form of a recovery rebate credit, but you’ll need this letter to correctly report the amount of the third stimulus that the IRS issued in 2021 to be able to claim a recovery rebate credit.
When are Taxes due? If you’re an American citizen living in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas or Virginia, your federal income taxes are due on April 18, 2020. However, you may not need to file until April 19 if you’re also a resident of Maine or Massachusetts. For example, the due date for federal income tax returns is May 16 for residents of certain areas of Colorado affected by the December wildfires. The due date was also extended to May 16 for Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee residents whose addresses are within the FEMA-declared disaster zone from the tornadoes. “States have the option to choose whether to conform to federal due dates,” he says. The earlier you file, the sooner you can get your refund and the less likely that an identity thief will claim it before you do. Most people get their refunds quickly, even if you owe money, but the IRS can’t give you a refund involving the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit until mid-February.
The quickest way to get your refund is to file electronically and have your refund deposited directly into your bank account. “Returns should be e-filed whenever possible and payments can be made at irs.gov/payments. We’re currently seeing responses 20 months or more on items mailed to the IRS. Tax season is upon us, and tax filing should be done timely and efficiently. Hiring a professional is one efficient way to file your taxes and learn everything about taxes. It can help save time and money, while also ensuring that your taxes are filed correctly. If you would like more information on this subject or any other business consulting services we offer, please get in touch today by calling/texting us us at +1 866-824-1440 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to helping you get set up and ready to pay taxes this year!