the Internal Revenue Service will kick off the 2022 tax season this month, though he is already warning taxpayers to prepare for delays as the agency grapples with a massive pile of unprocessed returns accumulated during the pandemic.
In a report to Congress this week, the National Taxpayer Advocate estimated that the IRS had a backlog of more than 8.6 million unprocessed personal tax returns and 2.8 million business returns as of mid -December due to the pandemic and other related disruptions. He also had nearly 5 million pieces of unanswered mail.
IRS TAX FILING SEASON WILL BEGIN ON JAN. 24
By comparison, the IRS typically enters tax filing season with less than a million items left to process.
There are several reasons for the delays. The IRS was grappling with office closures as well as the Herculean task of delivering millions of stimulus checks in 2020 and 2021, while trying to adjust to major tax code changes mid-season. statements. The agency is also understaffed; it has 20,000 fewer employees than in 2010 and its budget is about $11.4 billion, or 20% less than in 2010, after adjusting for inflation, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
On top of that, more than 20% of the IRS’ customer service workforce has been unable to work for pandemic-related health reasons over the past two years.
Here are the key dates taxpayers need to know in order to prepare for this tax season:
The IRS Free File program was opened on January 14 to taxpayers who earned $73,000 or less in 2021. Individuals can use the program to file their taxes electronically for free using software provided by companies. tax return business.
About 70% of tax filers in the United States – or about 100 million Americans – are eligible for the free program offered by the IRS, which is a public-private partnership between the IRS and the IRS. Free File Alliance, a group of tax preparation companies with online software. This now includes groups like TaxAct and FreeTaxUSA after TurboTax, as well as H&R Block, left the program.
Taxes are due January 18 for estimated fourth quarter payments, which are used to pay quarterly installment levies on non-withholdable income, such as self-employment income, alimony, dividends, and capital gains.
The IRS said Monday it will begin accepting 2021 individual income tax returns on January 24.
Treasury Department officials have urged taxpayers to file their tax returns as soon as possible, noting that individuals do not need previous returns to submit their 2021 returns. Americans are encouraged to file electronically with filing directly to avoid potential delays and receive their return within 21 days.
Qualified employees must complete a tax exemption Form W-4 and give it to their employers by February 15 if they are eligible.
Tax filing season will end on April 18 this year for most individuals, rather than the usual April 15 deadline, as that is when Emancipation Day will be observed in Washington. , DC.
Taxpayers can request an extension online by completing Form 4868 using the IRS”Free fileYou must submit the form by April 18, or print the form and mail it to your state’s IRS address, making sure it is postmarked by April 18.
This can give filers more time to carefully review their return and take advantage of any tax benefits, such as various deductions and credits, that are available to them to help reduce their liability.
By delaying the filing date, you can also avoid a failure to file penalty – an additional 5% per month on the unpaid amount, which can amount to up to 25% of the tax due. If you request an extension, you have until October 15 before the penalty starts accumulating.
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Experts warn that filing for an extension does not mean that you can delay paying the government taxes due.
The first estimated tax payment for 2022 is also due on April 18.
The second estimated tax payment for 2022 is due.
The third estimated tax payment for 2022 is due.
Americans who received tax deadline extensions must file their returns by October 17.