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Tax filing starting early this year due to COVID

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 7:00 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Tax season is starting 17 days early this year, and with the IRS still behind from last year, accountants are urging people to be patient and prepare to wait.

January 24 is the day Americans can start E-filing. This is to give filers a head start on submitting, and the IRS more time to process, but the agency is behind from last year.

“They have 6.5 million tax returns to process yet from last year and 2.5 million amendments, so they’re very behind,” Accountant Carmen Pleschourt said. “So they are trying to get the E-File, they can get to those much quicker,”

The pandemic also changed some tax laws, and tax experts urge to be on the lookout for new forms in the mail, especially if people have received child tax credits or stimulus payments.

Accountant Sandy Flom said one reason for a lot of the delays is that people are missing documents. Another reason is that the IRS is experiencing staffing shortages, like many industries in the country.

“I am sure they’re gonna look like junk mail, all the other forms that come from the government usually look like junk mail, so make sure you open anything up,” Flom said. “The IRS is very particular about things, if you are missing something, they will reject it.”

Pleschcourt said planning for the financial future is also important when it comes to filing taxes.

“You may be inheriting money, or planning to buy a house,” she said. “There’s planning to do sometimes.”

Flom said people can have all the right forms, E-file, choose direct deposit, and get their returns faster, but it’s not guaranteed. She said she has a client that’s still waiting on a $5,000 refund from last May.

“The IRS says they received it, but no one has even started processing it yet.”

The IRS website has tools to find out the status of a refund. The deadline to file is April 18. Pleschcourt said for people who need to call the IRS, calling right at 7 a.m. and later in the week helps get someone on the line.

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