Tax Topics

Delays and Tax Refund Timing

Cares Act

Top 2020 Tax Myths

My 2020 tax refund will be late.

⦁ TCJA was officially signed into law more than two years ago. Many continue to believe the 2017 reform package will somehow impact and delay their tax refund in 2020! 

⦁ This is not the case! Most returns received by the IRS still take around 21 days to process (when filed electronically) and are turned around even faster when you sign up for direct deposit. Paper returns can take anywhere from four-to-eight weeks once the IRS has confirmed receipt.

⦁ Normally the only way a tax refund is delayed is when it is subject to further review, such as when your return is missing information, or something has been miscalculated.

I will get an email from the IRS if I am owed a refund.

⦁ 100% false! The IRS NEVER uses email to initiate taxpayer communications, any unsolicited email appearing to come from the IRS is likely just a phishing scam. Generally aimed at stealing your Social Security number, bank account info and other personal information for the purpose of identity theft.

⦁ If you do receive such a message, avoid replying, clicking on any links or opening any attachments at all costs. 

I am owed a refund, which means I do not have to file.

⦁ You may not have met the minimum income threshold required to file your tax return; you still need to file a return to get your 2020 tax refund from the IRS.

⦁ You have a three-year window from the original 2020 due date to claim your refund

2021 tax filing season begins Feb. 12 IRS steps to speed refunds during pandemic.

⦁  The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation’s tax season will start on Friday, February 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.

⦁  To speed refunds during the pandemic, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit as soon as they have the information they need. People can begin filing their tax returns immediately with tax software companies.

⦁   We are starting to accept tax returns now, and the returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting February 12!

⦁  Under the PATH Act, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds and claims from being issued, including to identity thieves.

⦁ The IRS anticipates the first week of March refund for many EITC and ACTC taxpayers if they file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns. This would be the same experience for taxpayers if the filing season opened in late January. Taxpayers will need to check Where’s My Refund for their personalized refund date.

Key filing season dates

⦁  January 15. IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting Feb. 12. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance. 

⦁  January 29. Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify. 

⦁  February 12. IRS begins 2021 tax season. Individual tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins. 

⦁  February 22. The projected date for the Where’s My Refund tool being updated for those claiming EITC and ACTC also referred to as PATH Act returns. 

⦁  First week of March. Tax refunds begin reaching those claiming EITC and ACTC (PATH Act returns) for those who file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns. 

⦁  April 15. Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns. 

⦁  October 15. Deadline to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns.

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